Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Auntie Claus, Home for the Holidays

Auntie Claus, Home for the Holidays

Elise Primavera
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2009   ISBN: 978-1416954859

Every year, Sophie Kringle and her Auntie Claus go for a business trip, leaving just after Halloween and not coming home to New York City until after Christmas. They travel to the North Pole to help Santa prepare for his big night. This year Sophie finally has the opportunity to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the school play and she is very upset when she realizes that she cannot go with her aunt and be in the play. Sophie’s teacher has told her that she “can’t have your cake and eat it too.”

Auntie Claus does not agree at all. In fact she believes that Christmas is just the time when you should be able to “have your cake and eat it too.” As far as Auntie Claus is concerned, the solution is simple. Instead of going to the North Pole, she will stay in New York City and it will become “the new North Pole.”

Soon after this decision is made, elves arrive at the Bing Cherry Hotel (where Sophie and her aunt live), and the hotel become Christmas central. Crates full of toys and treats arrive, and then several strange guests make an appearance. Mr. Winter and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future make themselves at home. The real Sugar Plum Fairy arrives, and she helps Sophie prepare for her performance in the school play.

Everything should be perfect, but as Christmas gets closer and closer, it soon becomes clear that making New York City the new North Pole has created some problems, some really big problems.

In this third Auntie Claus title, we once again get to spend some time with Santa’s wonderful relative, a woman who takes Christmas very seriously indeed. This time though, Auntie Claus’ efforts to do the right thing backfire in a big way. It takes the generosity of one little girl to bring about a simple yet powerful Christmas miracle.

With wonderfully peculiar characters, a meaningful and entertaining story, and splendid illustrations, this is a picture book that will surely entertain children and adults for years to come.