A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Christmas-tastic Carol is a fun and lighthearted adaptation of the Dickens holiday classic A Christmas Carol, featuring the characters from Cartoon Network's wacky and brilliant animated series Adventure Time. The Ice King's a stand-in for Scrooge, and BMO is in the Tiny Tim role, sick with the robot flu. Perfect for kid, teen, and adult fans of the show.
What's the story?
Ice King, assuming the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, has a frigid heart "full of Christmas hate!" Rejecting the cheer of his penguin minions, he decides to sleep through Christmas, "snuggled up in his icy cold robes." In his restless slumber that follows, he's visited by three ghosts. Marceline the Vampire Queen as the Ghost of Christmas Past shows him a scene from his distant past before the crown that gave him his magical powers rotted his mind and turned him evil. Lumpy Space Princess (colloquially referred to as LSP) stops by for an appropriately sarcastic turn as the Ghost of Christmas Present, revealing a Tiny Tim-esque BMO suffering from the robot flu. Finally, he's tormented by a cloaked Finn and Jake, who show him a ghastly future in which the people of Ooo are glad to be rid of him. Anyone familiar with the story of Dickens' A Christmas Carol knows what happens when he awakes the next morning, but suffice it to say there's "a lumping Christmas miracle" in the end.
Is it any good?
Fans of the animated TV show Adventure Time will certainly chuckle at the appearance of their favorite characters, and Emily Warren's illustrations are captivating and surprisingly dynamic. For a rhyming book written in verse, some of the poetry is a little suspect, but kids won't care. And it's almost as silly and goofy as the show.
A Christmas Carol is a classic for a reason, and this version is certainly serviceable, even if it's not quite as absurd and outrageous as die-hard fans of the show might expect. The gorgeous renderings of the Candy Kingdom and the unique takes on our usually glossy cartoon heroes are more than reason enough to make this a great gift for any Adventure Time devotee.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the incredible staying power of A Christmas Carol. Why do you think this story is so often retold and reimagined?
Why does Ice King suddenly decide to cease his evil ways? Is it because he realizes he isn't a good neighbor or simply because he wants people to like him and come to his party? Do you think he'll ever really change?
How do you feel about stories from TV shows being extended into books, comics, and video games? How is it different from or similar to watching the series?
- Author: Max Brallier
- Illustrator: Emily Warren
- Genre: Holiday
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Holidays, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires, Robots
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Price Stern Sloan
- Publication date: October 16, 2014
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: November 30, 2020
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