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“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
Summary: Christmas is coming and things are very busy at the North Pole. There is not time for waste. According to Santa's rulebook, there are standards and everyone has his or her job. But Santa cannot control everything, like the conniving Mr. D, or even love. This is a holiday story presented in the form of a script.
Type of Reading: playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book, reluctant reader, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: Ciampi has an original and creative idea in that the entire book is written in a screen script form. The audience is given no limit to imagination and they are free to play any character of the story. It is excellent for in-class plays for ages 7 to 10. The story progression is relatively clear and the narrations set up the story very well. The characters were slightly mediocre; there was the obvious hero, the humorous sidekick, the perfect love interest, and the evilest-of-all enemy. The writing and the romance was also clich
Adult Reader Reaction: The story is presented as a script, so all of the parts are meant to be read aloud. Even still, it is difficult to move through the story because of all of the stage instructions. It is not easy to just jump over them, either. All of the staging information takes the fun and imagination out of the story. The story would benefit by splitting the book into two versions: one that is just dialogue, and one that has the complete full stage production.
Pros: Kids who like to move around or are interested in theater will find this an enjoyable read.
Cons: The potential value for reluctant readers (partner reading, short sentences) is mitigated by the continual stoppages created by the instructions or explanations. This is not an easy book to read.
Borrow or Buy: This is a book that a teacher or counselor would want to preview to see if it is a good match for their objectives. It is not a book that casual readers would pick up themselves for leisure reading.