Auntie Claus, Home for the Holidays



A gorgeous confection, but the story’s a little busy.

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Sophie ultimately decides to give up her tutu so the real Sugar Plum Fairy can perform.

Positive role models

Auntie Claus brings Christmas to New York because she wants Sophie to have a chance to perform. She puts a positive spin on everything that comes undone in the weeks that follow.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know there isn’t anything to be concerned about in this pretty Christmas fantasy.

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What's the story?

Sophie Kringle desperately wants to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in her school’s performance of The Nutcracker. So instead of making the usual Christmastime journey to the North Pole with Auntie Claus, the family decides to stay home and make New York City the headquarters for their preparations. Assured that you can have your cake and eat it too at Christmas time, the real Sugar Plum Fairy grows too fat for her tutu, New York City’s familiar holiday sights are buried in a deep freeze, and Christmas begins to be a lot less fun than it should be. Sophie is torn: Should she go to her own performance, or should she let the Sugar Plum Fairy use her tutu? Santa, of course, swoops in to set everything right.

Is it any good?


Readers unfamiliar with Auntie Claus -- this is Elise Primavera’s third book in the series -- might need a few pages to fully understand the importance of Auntie Claus’ annual business trip. By then, however, you’re already being whisked along on a fantastical ride. But much like bringing the North Pole to New York, it isn’t as satisfying at it should be. The story spins along at a breathless pace, as if it’s trying to keep up with the swooping imagery. For the artwork is the star here: Lush acrylic paintings beautifully render an enchanted Christmas. Wind-blown snow howls across the pages. A golden glow illuminates the scenes in the hotel. The aurora borealis seems to dance above the city.
Parents of young kids may have to explain the references to Dickens’ Christmas spirits, New York City landmarks, and Saks and Barneys. Such references and the long, busy text, make this better for kids 5 and older. This is a must-have, however, for New Yorkers and aspiring Sugar Plum Fairies.

Lush acrylic paintings beautifully render an enchanted Christmas. Wind-blown snow howls across the pages. A golden glow illuminates the scenes in the hotel. The aurora borealis seems to dance above the city.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about idioms. Miss Crumpet says "you can’t have your cake and eat it too." What does that mean? Discuss some other common idioms and what they mean.

  • Auntie Claus seems to like the best of everything as she prepares for Christmas. Do you think fancy decorations and parties are important? What are your family's holiday traditions?

Book details

Author:Elise Primavera
Illustrator:Elise Primavera
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:October 6, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:5
Read alone:7

This review of Auntie Claus, Home for the Holidays was written by

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