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  • Writer's pictureKaeti V.

CHRISTMAS BOOK REVIEW: advent storybooks day 20, 21

Got a few new book reviews for you today!!

DAY 20 – Santa Calls – William Joyce

Dear Santa,

You can send me toys if you like, but what I really wish for is for my brother Art to be my friend.

Esther and Art Aimsworth are a pair of singular orphans who live with their aunt and uncle on a small ranch in Texas ... while Art fights crime with inventions and wit, he is left with an unexplained emptiness he can never quite place. When Santa invites the kids to the north pole on Christmas Eve, they find themselves on a whirlwind adventure that will change their lives forever! The siblings meet the dangerous Dark Elves and their Queen ... who kidnap Esther! Art must put his skills to the test, risking everything to save his sister in a glorious show of wit and bravery.

William Joyce books are always a joy to read; in Santa Calls, Joyce spins a magnificent dreamland world that feels lush and lived in, while leaving plenty for the imagination to uncover! The North Pole and Toyland are brought to life in GORGEOUS illustrations that feel like they came straight from a timeless golden age. I also enjoy the little physical details Joyce leaves in this book – at the end there are two letters you can read, giving clever clues to the conclusion of the adventure!

DAY 21 – The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet and Allan Ahlberg

It’s Christmastime in storybook land, and the Jolly Postman is making his rounds on his trusty bicycle! He has deliveries for many favorite storybook characters: the three bears, red riding hood, humpty dumpty, the gingerbread boy, and Mr. wolf ... and the postman even meets Santa Claus for a ride home at the end of the book!

This book has such a fun setup … if you are familiar with the characters from popular nursery rhymes, you will enjoy seeing them out of context and living in a fairyland town in this book! There is also a unique pop up/activity book element because this book comes with little envelopes that hold the letters mentioned in the book. Some of the deliveries are magazines and booklets with hilarious columns to read; others are puzzles or games to play … and there’s even a little “peep show” card for the postman, which acts like a shadowbox filled with all the characters he made deliveries to! I love books like this so much. We had the prequel to this growing up (we somehow kept all the little inserts and letters where they needed to go!) and I never knew there were two other books in the series! What a fun find!!

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