Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Review - The Christmas Boot

The Christmas Boot
by Lisa Wheeler
illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Date: 2006
Publisher: Dial Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

In the spirit of Christmas classics The Polar Express and The Night Before Christmas comes a holiday tale about the magic of Santa, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney

Lonely Hannah is delighted to discover a warm black boot as she gathers kindling in the forest. A poor woman, she doesn't have proper shoes on her cold feet. "Glory be! I only wish I had your mate," she says to the boot, and the next morning, to her great surprise, there is not just one boot but two sitting by her bed! More wishes bring even better gifts—but the best is still to come: A visitor arrives at her door—a man with a big white beard, wearing a red suit and only one boot. Who could this magical visitor be? Santa Claus, of course! And he has one more surprise in store for Hannah: She wakes up the next morning to find a new puppy waiting for her!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I was quite disappointed that the synopsis gave absolutely everything away! That may have coloured my opinion of this book somewhat.

This is basically a story of a lonely old woman who finds one of Santa's magic boots in the forest on Christmas morning. (No idea how he could've lost it, unless he took off his boots in the sleigh on the way home.) As she idly makes wishes, they just happen to come true, until she's wished herself a fancy house and a great big feast, all without really meaning to. When Santa finally shows up to retrieve his boot, she tells him what she really wants: someone to talk to. Now, why this is Santa's responsibility, I have no idea; she appears to be living out in the middle of nowhere by choice. In any case, Santa gives her a puppy. I guess that makes a sort of sense; after all, she did say she wanted someone to talk to, not someone to talk with.

I have mixed feelings about the illustrations. Some of them I liked, but others I found a little creepy. Hannah herself doesn't always look the same from page to page, and that added to the feeling that the pictures were a little uneven. The snowman looked downright evil, but the illustrations of the fancy house were pretty. I'm really not sure what to make of the visual side of this book.

Overall, this wasn't terrible, but I didn't love it. I'm sure it'll have its audience. (Although, I would recommend reading it or giving it to kids without telling them what it's about; it would've been a lot more fun to discover the twists and turns while reading, rather than having them all spoiled before I even opened the book.)

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3 out of 5

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