When Santa Fell to Earthy by Cornelia Funke
When frightened by a storm, mischievious and somewhat scatty reindeer Twinklestar suddenly bolts. This sends Niklas Goodfellow (the last REAL Santa Claus) and his colourful caravan tumbling to Earth. Fortunately, he lands in a friendly, but often materialistic street and is rescued by two loving children, Ben and Charlotte and their dog, Mutt. Ben’s parents have decided to forgo the usual holiday celebrations and opt for a sundrenched vacation on a tropical island, leaving Ben down-hearted and cynical about all things ‘Christmasy’. So this is exactly the remedy Ben needs to lift his spirits. They begin and strong and magical friendship while Niklas attempts to locate his missing, marzipan-loving Twinklestar, repair his caravan and get Christmas back on track. But there is danger afoot. The evil Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, head of the recently formed Great Christmas Council, and his band of bad Santas are hot on his trail and will stop at nothing to hijack Christmas and turn Niklas into a bar of chocolate. Can Niklas and his new companions fight back against Goblynch and the GCC, or will Christmas be lost forever?
When Santa Fell To Earth is a warm-hearted, magical tale with a contemporary twist on the Santa Claus stories. The characters are unique and memorable, and the story itself has all the elements of drama, fantasy and adventure. It can be very difficult to find a truly well-written Christams story for the 8 to 10 year old age group, but Funke’s exceptional story-telling ability make this the perfect Christmas story to read alone, or to be shared throughout the season by the entire family.
Reviewed by Mary Esther Judy