Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise

It’s mixed season in our house.  Looking around, I see a stuffed paper pumpkin, colorful autumn leaves, a handprint turkey… a skiing penguin in a snowstorm.  We returned most of our Thanksgiving books to the library today (Junie B. is still waiting to be read by our 5yo), and checked out 20 Christmas classics.Yep, Christmas is beginning its takeover, and I love it!

When given the opportunity to review Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise, I was in the mood for a lighthearted, festive look at the season.  And that is what we’ve enjoyed…  This book is the perfect intro for families who enjoy a “where’s the elf” Christmas tradition.

Kirby Puckernut, Buy Now!Synopsis:

Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet – a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic! Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit.

From December 1st through Christmas Eve, Kirby travels each night to Els Mere to make toys and bring news to Santa, and returns to the family each morning with notes from Santa and other surprises.

Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned… Will Kirby’s idea be a success?

About the Author:

Author Alicia Richardson has created a new Christmas classic with her children’s book, Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise.

Alicia Richardson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children. She has always had a flair for storytelling, and has given life to a special little elf named Kirby Puckernut.

Illustrator:  Don Seegmiller
Physical Description:  Hardcover, 40 pages
Recommended Age: Children of all ages…
Price:  $17.95 for the book; Elf with book is $39.95
For More Info: http://www.kirbypuckernut.com/
On Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/puckernut?fref=ts

5yo Esmé’s Review:

  • The book is about a little elf that changed the lives of one family.  It is great!  My favorite part is where Mr. Harborsen said that they could see if Izzie had a good day or not just by looking at her nails [after receiving a gift of Mood Polish from Kirby].

What Mom Liked:

  • Tradition builder.  As previously mentioned, this is the perfect book to start a “where’s the elf” tradition.  It gives a magical background and provides some fun ideas to include in such a tradition.  And fun traditions are one of our kids’ favorite parts of Christmas!
  • Quality appearance. This hardback book is colorfully and attractively illustrated, nicely laid out to appeal all book lovers.  It’s got the sparkle that appeals to girls like Esmé without being feminine.
  • Interesting storyline.  The book is a nice read-aloud:  long enough for substance and fast-moving enough to read through in one sitting.  Humor is appropriately interspersed throughout.
  • Variety of characters. The kids in the family include a 13yo girl, a 10yo boy, a preschooler, and a lovable Mocha dog:  a nice mix that most children will be able to relate to. 
  • Family values.  I also appreciate the solid family structure the book portrays.  And the ultimate elf magic is not so much the tiny tree that turns into a huge, beautiful, white-flocked Christmas tree, as it is the sense of forgiveness, love, family ties that emerge in spite of adversity – dad’s broken leg, kids sick with flu and all.

While most Christmas favorites in our house have a nativity theme rather than a Santa theme, Esmé and I have enjoyed the fun and magic in this book and are thrilled to include it in our Christmas collection.

Those who’ve followed this blog know we have a special interest in parts of Africa, most recently having worked in Mozambique for an organization that is building churches and schools.  We sponsor a child in Kenya, and I love the fact that for every book sold, $1 will be donated to Kenya Keys, an organization that provides educational and leadership opportunities for youth in Kenya.  There is a craving, a desperate self-sacrificing of even food, by many Africans for learning and education that we take for granted over here.  One of author Alicia Richardson’s family traditions is supporting Kenya Keys – and I’d love to see more of us make a holiday tradition of giving…

Disclaimer: Thanks to the author and MediaGuests for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are our own.

More stops on the review tour:

November 27th, 2012 - Winning Readings
November 28th, 2012 - Must Read Faster
November 29th, 2012 - Simply Stacie
December 1st, 2012 - The Friendly Book Nook
December 1st, 2012 - Callista's Ramblings
December 3rd, 2012 - Readathon
December 4th, 2012 - 4 The Love of Books