December 21, 2006

When Santa Fell to Earth - by Cornelia Funke

Imagine that the North Pole is the headquarters of many santas, some of which have turned bad. Those bad santas drive shiny silver cars, and coerce parents into paying big bucks for their kids' presents, and they've got an army of oversized nutcracker men to enforce their decisions. The good santas are those who have resisted the shift in power from the old days, and who still travel in flying caravans pulled by reindeer, spreading Christmas magic to children, trying not to get caught by the new bad santas. This story finds the last of the good santas crashing to Earth in the middle of a quiet suburban street, where Niklaus, the santa, befriends two local children (all taking place in England), who help him to set things right.

This is a wonderful, charming story, that will delight anyone who reads it, Santa-fan or not. The pictures spread over multiple pages help to picture some of the odder situations that are described, such as the mischievous, foul-mouthed elves who help Niklaus by making toys, among other things. This book will not disappoint.

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