Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan

I picked up this book because I saw it was part of the Julie Andrews Collection, and it completely lives up to the elegance and refinement you'd expect of Julie Andrews.

A curse has been placed on The Land of Enchantment by the evil Herrikan, and now no one can enter or leave, not the spirits of the dead, or Santa Claus to make his yearly visits. But his daughter Holly has discovered that she has a part to play in removing the curse, and finds a way to a Victorian-esk New York where she spreads the joy and goodness you'd expect from a relative of Santa. She ultimately confronts Herrikhan and removes the curse.

With graceful and detailed illustrations to accompany the lyrical text, this is one of the best balances of image and word that I've come across. It feels like it's been around for generations, while at the same time being a refreshingly original Christmas story. The climax was a bit too cliche for my liking, but that did add to the sense of timelessness.

This is my favorite Christmas story, children would love hearing it read aloud.

[click here to see if it's available]

Also simplified into a picture book, [Holly Claus: the Christmas Princess] (still nice, but not nearly as good as the full version)

by Scott