A Christmas-tastic Carol

Book review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
A Christmas-tastic Carol Book Poster Image
Dickens perennial gets goofy "Adventure Time" treatment.

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows kids an alternate version of the classic story in Dickens' A Christmas Carol

Positive Messages

Even a hater can change his ways. You can get a second chance, learn from your mistakes, start fresh, and be a better citizen. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ice King learns a valuable lesson playing the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge. Haunted by the past, present, and future, the cold-hearted, holiday-hating wizard is shown "the true meaning of Christmas cheer." He vows to change, causing Lumpy Space Princess to quip, "It's a lumping Christmas miracle!" 

Violence & Scariness

One use of "Bah! Hum Butt!!!" and several uses of the goofy fake swear words that proliferate in Adventure Time dialogue, such as "Merry lumping Christmas" and "What the junk?"

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. 

User Reviews

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Teen, 15 years old Written byDerek8 January 6, 2016


I would like to say, that “A Christmas Carol.” Is one of the most annoying books to read. Not only is it long and drug out, but the language is tedious to read.... Continue reading

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love holidays

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