Sunday, December 16, 2018

Review - The Holiday Heroes Save Christmas

The Holiday Heroes Save Christmas
by Adam Wallace
illustrated by Shane Clester
Date: 2018
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

This just in--breaking news from the North Pole!

Santa Claus can't deliver presents on Christmas Eve and he needs backup. But not just anybody can help him--he needs the Holiday Heroes!

This Christmas, it's up to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, a Witch and a Leprechaun to fill in for Santa and save Christmas.

Can the Holiday Heroes deliver presents without being spotted? Will they be able to pull off Christmas in the end?

(synopsis from Goodreads)

To begin with, the cover is misleading. Santa is out of the picture for most of the book, and he's not the one who saves Christmas. His case of the sniffles is actually what puts Christmas in jeopardy. It's all the other mythological holiday characters (the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, a Witch, and a Leprechaun) who try to save Christmas. Of course, they mess it up on the first try. At one point, the Witch turns the cookies left out for Santa into giant spiders! That could scare the crap out of some kids who have that particular fear (I know I probably would've been fretting about a witch replacing Santa and leaving a plate of spiders behind when I was little).

The illustrations are in a sort of retro style (similar to that in Who Likes Christmas?, which was also illustrated by Clester). They're okay, but nothing special.

I also didn't like the ending, which implies that Santa won't be delivering presents next year, either. Maybe Santa just wanted his Heroes prepared in case he got sick again, but that wasn't made clear, and could potentially confuse some kids. Why is Santa suddenly pawning his job off on others?

Pretty much the only thing I like about this book are the little bios on all the characters that are tacked on at the beginning and end of the text. They're imaginative and amusing. It's too bad the story in between is so weak. (Has Santa really never gotten sick before in 1,200 years? Why is he sick this year? Inquiring little minds are going to want to know.)

I'd skip this one. It doesn't really add anything new to the Christmas mythos, and could potentially cause confusion or concern for children who are used to the traditional Santa Claus story.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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