More holiday reading as we get closer and closer to Christmas! Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and gets to spend some quality time with family!
Author: Leen Lefebre
Category: Christmas, Fantasy, Family
Suitable for: All Ages (Ideal for 6 to 12)
My Rating: 3 Stars
Format Read for Review: Kindle copy provided by the author in return for an honest review.
In a faraway village there lives a farmer with his wife. The summer harvest has failed and winter already arrives. So, how should they feed their three sons? The idea arises to fetch wood in the northern forest. They could dry it, sell it from door to door and earn some money to buy food.
Frede knows that his parents are doing their best, but is it enough to withstand the most barren period of the year? Together with his brothers, Rhune and Folke, he wants to visit Santa and ask him for help. But, first they must travel through that extensive forest where the evil Elf King lurks.
In Short: A sweet and slightly scary holiday adventure. I think kids who like Harry Potter type stories will enjoy this exciting story during winter. But be warned it has editing issues.
Pros: I liked the characters and the sweet family. It was nice how they all had different personalities but were loved equally and treated fairly by the parents. Frede is a really cute character. With him being so young and going on such a brave adventure it was a great and sympathetic perspective for the story. The story is very creative and interesting. Three brothers make the reckless choice of wandering into the woods in the middle of the night to seek help from Santa because they are concerned their poor family wont survive the winter. They didn’t even bring water or leave a note! Halfway through I thought it might turn into a cautionary tale about 3 boys who died in the woods. They have to carefully navigate their way to find Santa while avoiding being captured by the Elf King and without waking up the angry forest. It ends up being a very dangerous adventure that puts you on the edge of your seat. It has a happy ending and a nice Christmas for the family that is completely devoid of commercialism. There are a lot of positive messages of love and selflessness throughout the book.
Cons: My biggest issue with this book is the English translation. To be clear, most of it is understandable, so you can follow what is going on. But, there are many sentences that make little to no sense. This is more distracting than anything. Because it’s for kids I don’t think it’s good to teach them vocabulary used in the wrong context. There are also random accent marks on words. This book just needs editing. There are some holes in the story but it’s for kids so I wont poke at it too much. It started off kind of slow and then it ended too quickly without getting the satisfaction of completing the adventure. I was a little confused at the ending because it was kind of a mad rush and I felt like it was skipping some important parts (like the showdown against the Elf King to get back what he took). Instead the day was saved far too easily.
Parent’s Guide: Although this book is clean for all ages there are issues with word choice and grammar that would confuse young readers. It would be best to read it with your child.
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