When Santa Fell to Earth

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
When Santa Fell to Earth Book Poster Image
Santa fights commercialization, kids help, ho hum.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

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.


None, but the author repeatedly says that the elves are swearing.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 13 years old Written bybrownie94 April 9, 2008

it was a really great book!

so... there's a santa who is running away from the santa police, (or whatever ya want to call it) and his reindeer got detached right in the middle of the... Continue reading

What's the story?

While flying through the sky in his gypsy caravan during a thunderstorm a couple of weeks before Christmas, Niklas Goodfellow finds himself crashing to earth when his reindeer, Twinklestar, bolts in fear. The caravan ends up on the side of a suburban street, where Niklas and his accompanying angels and elves meet Ben (and later Charlotte).

Niklas explains that the North Pole has been taken over by Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, who is only interested in money and who has brought in modern technology, outsourced the toymaking, turned the Santas into chocolate and the reindeer into salami, employed giant nutcrackers as enforcers, and driven out the elves. Niklas himself is the last real Santa. Now it is, of course, up to the children to help him take Christmas back.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this concept of Santa compares with the more traditional one. How is it similar? How does it differ? Which is more appealing or realistic?

Book details

Our editors recommend

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.

Learn how we rate