By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: November 7, 2009
by Lauren Thompson (Author), Jon J Muth (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 4-7
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press (September 1, 2009)
What to expect: Christmas theme, Santa, Reindeer, spirit
Have you ever wondered how Santa knows when it’s the right time to start preparing for Christmas? Author Lauren Thompson lets us in on Santa’s secret: he gets a “tingling in his whiskers” which lets him know that Christmas magic is on its way. Her uncomplicated text gives a wonderful account of the chores that Santa must undertake in order to be ready on Christmas eve. “First, Santa gathers the reindeer from the sparkling fields of snow.” He also shines his sled, darns the holes in his socks (yes, no appearances from Mrs. Claus), trims his beard, and then carefully selects toys before packing them in his sack. Then, beautifully said, [the magic] “has come at last, as it always has, and always will.”
Muth — who is well known for his bestselling, enlightening picture books: Zen Shorts and Zen Ties — has added nothing but sheer enchantment with his water color and pastel illustrations. Using rich blues and winter whites, he has created a quiet and pitch-perfect ambiance that is at one with the text. Santa appears wizardly-like, but also seems familiar and homely when he is spotted wearing bunny slippers. From the special toy room — where Muth’s Zen Shorts panda character, Stillwater, can be spotted — to the enchanting last spread where Santa is flying high in the sky, readers will be completely mesmerized.
Written and illustrated with entrancing sensitivity, The Christmas Magic is a beautiful, heart-warming tale; perfect for an intimate holiday story time.
Publisher’s synopsis: Far, far North, when the nights are longest and the stars shine brightest, Santa begins to prepare for his big night of giving. He gathers his reindeer, feeds them parsnips and berries, and polishes his bells and his sled. Then lovingly, he chooses toys for every child in the world. For Santa loves them all, and he knows what each child at heart wants most. Then, with the thrum of magic that makes reindeer fly, he spreads the Christmas joy and warmth throughout the world–as he always has — and always will until the end of time.
Lauren Thompson is known for her uncanny ability to reach the hearts and minds of the youngest readers.
Jon J Muth’s luminescent watercolor strike all the perfect chords in this warm, reassuring Christmas story.
Add this book to your collection: The Christmas Magic
Other great books by Lauren Thompson: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked, Little Quack, and Mouse’s First Snow.
Other great books by Jon Muth: Zen Shorts, Zen Ties, The Three Questions, and Stone Soup.
TCBR’s source of book: Scholastic
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A note of thanks from the author! Thanks for this wonderful review. Like you, I’m enchanted by the artwork that Jon J Muth created for my text. Wondrous and playful at the same time. This review was posted on my birthday — how neat!
You can visit my website at http://www.laurenthompson.net .
What a lovely surprise! Thank you for your kind words regarding our review of your beautiful, beautiful book. I’ve just updated our list of favorite authors, to include your website.
Happy holidays and wishing you loads of Christmas magic!
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