Thursday, December 25, 2008

Reader's Diary #426- Kevin Major, carvings by Imelda George: House of the Wooden Santas

I'd been eyeing this book for a long time, but as a picture book seemed a little on the lengthy side for a nighttime read aloud to my kids. Then, after a glowing review by Wanda, in which she referred to it as "The Perfect Family Read-aloud!" I had to give it a shot (since we're "the perfect family" after all.)

Turns out, Major breaks the reading down for us in the style of an advent calendar. The first chapter is called "Twenty-Four Days To Christmas" and is meant to begin on the 1st of December, with a new chapter each night, ending on Christmas Eve ("One Day To Christmas"). My daughter got into chapter books this year, and we love doing the chapter-per-night routine. We began this one a little late and had to double up chapters for a while to catch up, but that was fine.

House of the Wooden Santas would appeal to any age. As an adult, it was easy to focus on the adults in the book, with their very realistic issues. But, the story still revolved around a young boy named Jesse and the adult issues, while still playing a role in the plot, didn't seem overbearing. Both of us looked forward to it each night, and as the days counted down, I wondered how Major was going to pull off a satisfactory conclusion in time. He throws out more than a few directions the story might lead. Without ruining it, it was satisfying: happy but but unbelievably so, not completely wrapped up, but very hopeful.

On that wonderful note, enjoy your Christmas.


Wanda said...

So happy to hear you enjoyed this one, John.
I ate up your review. ;)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Allison said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)

John Mutford said...

Thanks, and I hope you both had a great day as well.

Melwyk said...

Merry Christmas, John! What a good choice for family reading at Xmas.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

It sounds like a charming book. I love when the kids start getting into chapter books, don't you?