A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Ben repeatedly cheats on tests, with no guilt, author disapproval, or consequences -- except praise.
Violence & Scariness
A bad Santa is turned into chocolate; giant nutcrackers attack and threaten.
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None, but the author repeatedly says that the elves are swearing.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the author has a very strange approach to Santa Claus, and younger children may find it disturbing to their belief system. Also, the book seems to condone cheating on school tests.
Is It Any Good?
Christmas taken over by greedy corporate interests is not a new theme; the only thing new that Funke brings to this hackneyed, trite tale is a complete lack of logic. Main character Ben is sort of bullied, of course -- but not really. His parents are rather unfeeling -- until they suddenly become warm and caring.
Bright children will have guessed the whole story by page 37, and the way it unfolds isn't particularly exciting. Funke's name has become a famous brand, and so this book will certainly sell. But it's a disappointment.
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Our Editors Recommend
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