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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Sophie is very curious about the "business trip" that Auntie Claus takes. How can a business trip last three months? She decides to stow away in Auntie's luggage and find out for herself. This is a holiday story with a simple lesson for the season: believing isn't always about seeing!
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading
Recommended Age: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Started reading with child at 3 years old.
Young Reader Reaction: When we read this in the afternoon, we had our preschooler's undivided attention. S/He didn't want to sit still for it at bedtime, though. Every time we read it, s/he wants to know more about Sophie and Auntie Claus.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun story. The narrative is descriptive and wholly necessary, but wordier than what our preschooler is used to. We are happy when s/he wants to sit for the whole story, 'cuz we like reading it to the end.
Pros: The story is imaginatively told and illustrated. The elements of Auntie Claus' lessons are laid out subtly, but obvious in the end. It artfully weaves the spiritual essence of the holiday with its secular presentation.
Borrow or Buy: Buy! You'll want both of the Auntie Claus books as part of your annual holiday reading, even AFTER the kids "outgrow" them.
Educational Themes: The morals of the story speak for themselves. They serve as reminders and ways to open discussions about the true meaning of Christmas.
Literary Categories: Fiction - holiday, fantasy
Date(s) Reviewed: December 2004
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