Hard at work on a sled for his nephew Rassle to use in the annual Glitterlit Mountain Downhill sled races, Sparky put everything on hold when Rassle and Klee-Klee came in to say goodnight to their favorite Uncle. When they informed Uncle Sparky that since they were now 9 and 12 years old, they no longer needed bedtime kisses, not even from Uncle Sparky. Fearing they were growing up quicker than he expected, he decided it was time to tell a tale that might change there minds about that goodnight kiss. The telling of this story would be easy, since Sparky had been one of Santa Claus’s closest and most trusted elves for such a long time. Reaching back into his memory, he started the tale of the first trip that Santa made to deliver his toys. Back then Santa was a young, single man and when trouble struck he turned to Sparky for the help he needed to make it through one of the worst storms anyone had ever seen.
I enjoyed the playfulness of the children with their Uncle. The sneezing bit adds even more fun for the kids, even though at first it kind of seemed like that was why they didn’t want to give him a hug and kiss goodnight. The story about Santa fist meeting Miss Suzie McEase, the soon to be Mrs. Claus was in the format of a poem. With the rhyming cadence of the story it’s pattern was easily formed, and then broken when the kids started getting restless (as kids tend to do sometimes). The rhythm was easily picked up again as the story got back on track. The story did the trick and thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Claus, both Rassle and Klee-Klee willingly gave Uncle Sparky a goodnight kiss. With the addition of the wonderful illustrations, that are by Cesar De Castro, the beautiful poem and the cute story to match, this is a good read-aloud story that kids will enjoy for many Christmas times to come. I read this to my 8 and 10 year olds (even though it is not Christmas time yet) and they enjoyed the way the pictures so accurately depicted the story, they laughed at Uncle Sparky’s sneezes and at Santa falling down. They thought that Mrs. Claus was sweet, and so was Klee-Klee. They would like to hear this story again, whether it is Christmas time or not. They also really enjoyed the two seek-and-find pages, double wide with a plastic magnifying window on a super long ribbon. One, a day time view of Santa’s North Pole, the other a night time view of the North Pole, including a seek-and-find question and answer combination - what fun. (****)
August 27, 2009