by Simone Mets
cover illustration Jana Pivkova
age range: 5 years old and up
What a wonderful Christmas Story!
This is the blurb from the book's webpage:
"When Santa’s workshop is destroyed by a ferocious storm, even the richest man in the world is stumped for a way to save Christmas. Just when everyone seems to give up all hope, the unstumpable Ava Buttons, together with her friends, discover a way to make Christmas wishes come true. Motivated by a desire to help others, Ava converts even her naughtiest friend, Rowdy Meyers, from an enthusiastic getter to a champion giver."
It is a fact. Santa workshop is destroyed, all the presents are lost, and all the "Dear Santa" letters returned to the senders. Not even the richest man in the city with all his money can fix this. Christmas is not coming this year.
Ava and her friends are incredibly sad. There must be something they can do to save Christmas. But what? Reading the returned letters, Ava realized that she can fulfill one of the wishes giving one of her toys. What if each of them do the same? Would they be able to fulfill all the wishes? They can at least try. The outcome is exceptional. The pile of presents is huge, but more important the good feeling of give to other is gigantic. So gigantic it also reaches Rowdy, the most self-interested kid at school.
Focused in how it is more important and comforting to give than receive, this story is funny and heartwarming. It left you smiling and hopeful. It is also funny, with lovely characters, and an interesting layout. All of this without giving away Santa's identity secret.
As you can see the cover is beautiful. This is not exactly a picture book, but more of a short story. Although there are some small illustration, these are particularly details, not full page pictures. I decide to label it for kids 5 years old and up thinking in the amount of text, and specially the amount of time it needs to be read, that probably it is too much for a toddler.
Great story! Give it a try.