Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When Santa fell to earth

When Santa fell to earth

Cornelia Funke
Illustrator:  Paul Howard 
For ages 8 to 11
Scholastic, 2006   ISBN: 0545094437

Ben is not looking forward to Christmas because his parents are planning to go away for the holiday this year. His mother wants to go to the mountains, and his father wants to lie on a beach somewhere. What neither of them is doing is listening to what Ben wants, and this both frustrates and angers Ben.

One night a few weeks before Christmas, a strange caravan arrives on Ben’s street in the middle of the night. Ben soon finds out that a young man called Niklas Goodfellow lives in the caravan with two angels and a passel of elves. He is a Santa Claus and the elves are Christmas elves.

Niklas explains that a Santa called Gerold Geronimus Goblynch has taken control of the North Pole; Goblynch believes that Santas should work for profit; they should buy their toys from factories and focus on the parents (and their money) and not on the needs of children. Niklas is a renegade Santa because he believes in an old fashioned Christmas. He believes that Santas should do what they can to give children what they wish for, and that elves and not factories should make Christmas gifts. Because of his beliefs Niklas is on the run. At the moment he is a sitting duck because his reindeer, Twinklestar, has run off. Is there anything Ben can do to save Niklas and the real magic of Christmas?

In this often amusing and heartwarming story, Cornelia Funke explores the real meaning of Christmas. She shows her readers that there are times when it is important to stand up for what you believe in. Dreams and magic are a precious part of all our lives, and it would be a shame to lose them.