Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

An Elk Dropped In

An Elk Dropped In

Andreas Steinhofel
Illustrator:  Kerstin Meyer 
For ages 7 to 10
Front Street Press, 2006   ISBN: 978-1932425802

It is just before Christmas, and Billy, his sister Kiki, and their mother are singing Christmas carols in the living room when an elk falls through the ceiling, flattens their dining table, and lands on the floor with all four legs in the air. Not surprisingly, Mama is very shocked. Kiki tells them that the elk is a male and that elks don’t fly, nor do they talk. Which is when the elk talks, informing Billy and his family that he is called Mr. Moose. Apparently he was flying towards Scandinavia and “Got knocked off course over Ireland.” When Mama finds out that Mr. Moose has injured one of his legs, she invites him to stay in her garage until he is well again. Billy goes to visit Mr. Moose in the garage that evening and he finds out the most extraordinary thing. Mr. Moose works for Santa Claus. Being German, Billy has no idea who Santa Claus is, but when Mr. Moose explains that he means Father Christmas, Billy knows exactly who he is talking about.

Billy has, for a while, stopped believing in Father Christmas, but after hearing Mr. Moose talk about the work he does for “The Boss,” Billy begins to believe in him again. How can he not? After all, an American moose flew over his house and fell through his ceiling. The evidence in favor of the existence of Father Christmas is rather hard to refute.

Once Mr. Moose is better, he takes Billy for a ride in the woods and they have a splendid time. Mr. Moose asks Billy what his “deepest wish” is, and Billy tells Mr. Moose that he wishes that his family was complete again “with a papa.” Billy’s parents divorced not long ago and the situation has greatly upset the little boy. Though Billy would love to have his wish granted, he does not want Mr. Moose to go back home to America. Losing such a splendid friend would be truly terrible.

With delicious tongue-in-cheek humor and splendid characters, the author of this book tells a story that children and adults alike will enjoy. This is not your typical warm and cozy holiday tale, but it does have its own unique flavor of Christmas magic that is quite delightful.