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CHRISTMAS AT THE CANDLE FACTORY

Author: Barbara L. Johns

Illustrator: Carolyn R. Stitch

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Publisher: Steeple Ridge Publications,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Midnight, the cat, has always loved Christmas. She is Grady's right-hand-paw when it comes time to creating special treasures for the holiday. But Elvis, the new cat, was ruining everything: candles, the fun of the holiday, and now, even her mood. Would Christmas ever be the same again? This is a seasonal picture book that doesn't involve a big man in a red suit, but offers a wonderful story all the same.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 9 to 11

Interest Level: 2 to 9

Age of Child: Started reading with child nearly 5 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: Our preschooler instantly recognized the errors of Elvis' ways. S/He was also fascinated by the illustrations, which capture the candle-making process.

Adult Reader Reaction: We enjoyed reading this story. Although set in the candle factory at Christmas time, the story is one you could read all year long, because the story is less about the holiday and more about relationships.

Pros: The story is fun to read on several levels. Those who celebrate any December holiday (with or without Santa) are recognized, making it universally fun. You'll also learn a thing or two about candle making.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a year-round read, not just for Christmas. It will make an excellent addition to any personal collection and holiday reading traditions.

If You Liked This Book, Try: PAPA PICCOLO   LITTLE WHISTLE'S CHRISTMAS   AUNTIE CLAUS AND THE KEY TO CHRISTMAS

Educational Themes: In addition to learning about the candlemaking process, you can talk about relationships, even adoption--pet or human. To draw out any particular aspect of celebrating Christmas will require your own ingenuity.

Literary Categories: Fiction - Christmas, picture book, animal characters

Date(s) Reviewed: October 2006

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