Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Redcap’s Christmas

Redcap’s Christmas by Susan Cason, illustrated by Ben Wood (Omnibus Books)
HB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-74299-021-7
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Redcap is a lively elf who has always dreamed of working in Santa’s workshop in the North Pole. The only trouble is that in the hectic week before Christmas they are not hiring. How will Redcap convince Hiram to let him in to become part of Santa’s work force? And once there, how will he stay out of trouble long enough to meet Santa, Redcap’s greatest wish. Will his new friend Jellybean be any help to him at all?

Redcap’s Christmas is a bright, bubbly and happily adventurous Christmas story. Each of the seven chapters is a short story of its own as Redcap tries to complete tasks he thinks will please Hiram and Firem, Santa’s closest helpers.There is a wonderfully old-fashioned feel to this book which occurs in part from the story-telling style and in part from the layout. A nice sized hardcover book, each chapter is preceded by a full colour illustration previewing something up-coming in the chapter. Then Wood’s soft pencil sketches continue to be sprinkled throughout.

This is an attractive book full of elves, goblins, trolls, and the wily North Wind, all fabulously named (including Cranberry the reindeer keeper and Quagmire, one of the trolls), along with plenty of Christmas magic. In the front there is a full colour map of the area surrounding Santa’s workshop in the North Pole where all of Redcap’s and Jellybeans adventures take place.

Redcap’s Christmas is gentle enough to be read to six year-olds and the offbeat, quirky humour means older children will enjoy it too in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

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