The Legend of Holly Claus

Book review by
Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
The Legend of Holly Claus Book Poster Image
St. Nick's saintly child plays fantasy heroine.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Holly is a model of a strong heroine that thinks on her feet, makes wise decisions, and wants happiness for all. She also puts others before herself and respects her parents and elders.

Violence

Beloved wolf character is killed by warlock and eaten by birds, causing grief to other characters. Threats to kill all. Infant heart set in ice.

Sex

True love expressed between main character and young man; kissing on hand as greeting.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that an evil warlock kills a beloved character and threatens to kill not only the main character but all loved ones associated. There's also young love, harmlessly illustrated through fluttering eyelashes and breathy dialogue. Holly and friends meet a Jewish family who share Hanukkah as another holiday observed during this time.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLadyBookworm October 19, 2010

Awaken the spirit of Christmas in you heart

A truly heart warming Chirstmas story sure to awaken the child in all of us. Kids will love the story of Holly's adventures and her wonderful friends. The... Continue reading
Adult Written byclglover April 9, 2008

Couldn't get through it

Very lovely story and thinking back to when I was attempting to read it to my 10 year old, am sorry to say that neither one of us wanted to continue to slog thr... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byGeek4310 December 16, 2010

Perfect for almost all ages

I've loved this book since I first discovered it in the stacks of my local library. It reminded me why I love Christmas without being overly gushy and forc... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bybibliophile December 17, 2008

THE BEST CHRISTMAS BOOK EVER!

I read this book every year for Christmas, which has been four or five years now. It is such a powerful, beautiful story, and so well written. I can't be... Continue reading

What's the story?

In 1878, a 10-year-old boy sends a letter to Santa Claus inquiring what Santa himself wishes as a gift. This act of generosity is the catalyst for Santa and wife to receive a baby. Holly is born of the purest heart and becomes the means for escape by an imprisoned-by-curse warlock named Herrikhan. He manages to set her infant heart in ice and threatens to return one day to collect it, and thus set himself free. \ \

The Land of the Immortals is closed then to the outer world, and Holly is forced to live in a castle constantly glistening with snowflakes to avoid melting her heart; and in isolation except for loving family and set of animal friends. Obsessed with the life in New York City as seen through her telescope, she discovers a way to escape. In Victorian New York, she brings happiness to all she meets by helping people, young and old, acknowledge their dreams. Herrikhan follows masquerading as a wealthy young man and potential suitor. Holly, however, has her eye on another lonely soul.

Is it any good?

This is a good read for kids who like fantasy, strong female characters, and a bit of innocent romance. A new take on the jolly, pink-cheeked, white-bearded man living in the North Pole, the father of Holly Claus has a temper, can be impetuous, is flirtatious with his wife, and struggles like any parent to settle his overachieving adolescent daughter.

This book in the Julie Andrews Collection is filled with flowery descriptions and accompanied by delicate illustrations. Certainly easy to read, the bulk of the drama is in the beginning and end, which may cause some readers to put it down and forget to pick it back up. However, this is a great holiday selection for kids who favor books with fantasy, romantic heroism, and plucky females.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the main character and how the book says she possesses the "purest heart." Though dutiful and highly moral, she is also impatient and strong-willed. How does she show these limitations? Do these qualities make her more likable? Obviously it is a fantasy, but how is she relatable in her lonely isolation or wish to find her path in life? Which characters stand out and why? Also being a book about Christmas, families can talk about holidays and how they are observed through different traditions.

Book details

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate