Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Kandy Kane Kid

All right, Bill, you forced me into this. I didn't want to do it, but now I have to tell you about my secret life during the holidays. You know why I couldn't make the party last week? I was out doing my duty as the Kandy Kane Kid! That's right, partners, I go around looking for the old Scrooges out there, ruining the holiday spirit, and when I find 'em, I give it to them with both barrels! Two good shots of holiday cheer, that is. Then I tell 'em about these here books ('cause I figger they're so grumpy because they had to read boring books). These books will put the holiday spirit in even the meanest rattlesnake:

Kringle by Tony Abbott

Wow! What a book! Did you ever think there could be an action-packed fantasy adventure about Santa Claus? I have to admit I was skeptical at first, but Tony Abbott won me over in the first couple of pages. The story starts off with the story of Kringle's birth (he was named after the sound of a magic bell) and his parnets' death at the hands of goblins. Kringle was taken in by a woman named Merwen and stayed there he was twelve. Then the goblins attacked Merwen's house. Kringle and Merwen narrowly escaped but were separated. There Kringle was, alone in the dark and dangerous world, trying to survive the snow, the pirates, and stop the horrible plan of the goblins. There is a lot of action, magic, and a real showdown between good and evil. The good guys really make you want to root for them and the golbins--well, they're not the cutesy goblins of Halloween rhymes. They're nasty, vile, disgusting creatures who live in nasty, vile, disgusting underground tunnels, stealing treasure and children for a truly scary master plan. As I said, there's lots of adventure--and Kringle becomes the gift-bringer for a very good reason! You've got to read this! I couldn't put it down and enjoyed every page. By the way, it's fun to read over the holidays, but this would be good any time of year. (PS--Kringle, that is Kris Kringle, is an old name for Santa Claus)

Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story by Angela Shelf Medearis. I said once before that I don't often talk about picture books but some are so good that I have to mention them. Like this one. In this story, seven brothers in the African country of Ghana argue and fight all day long. They never stop and they never get along. Then, when their father dies, the village chief tells them that thier father left an inheritance for them but they have to find a way to turn seven spools of thread into gold by nightfall or they they will be turned out of their house as beggars. What an impossible situation! Yet, in a way that you wouldn't expect, they make it happen. This a terrific book with great illustrations by Daniel Minter.

Tumbleweed Christmas by Alane Ferguson. Imagine driving through the desert, trying to get somewhere with your mom for Christmas. Then imagine that your car breaks down in the middle of the desert! The only place to stay is a cheap fleabag motel, and that's where you'll spend Christmas. Sound like your worst Christmas nightmare? It could have been, but the boy in this story learns a thing or two about Christmas that changes his attitude. This is one of those stories that you read and never forget.

And don't forget Hershel and the Hankkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel, reviewed on 12-13.

Well, that's it, buckaroos. Have yore selves a rootin' tootin' good holiday season!

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