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Secrets of a Christmas Box

by Steven Hornsby

     

Mr. Ferguson brought home their Christmas tree. He brought out their Christmas Box and from it took the lights and decorations. After he strung the lights and the children hung the decorations they turned out the lights and went to bed.

When night falls the decorations come to life after their long year asleep. Among the TreeDwellers are Larry the glass snowman, Debbie his part-reindeer friend, Tinsel, and Splint, a wooden soldier new to the Tree. Larry finds his brother Terence missing. He is unable to find him anywhere in the tree. He cannot accept that his brother is missing, even though he knows that sometimes the ornaments donít make it back to the next year. It is forbidden by the TreeElders to leave the tree, but he is determined to look outside the tree.

Larry and his companions' search takes them through unknown and dangerous worlds inhabited by enemies. They find Terence in the Christmas Box. His body has been mutilated. They believe he has been murdered. They must return to the safety of the tree, but their escape has alerted the TreeLord, who has sent the ArmyLights to bring them back. An attack on Larry and his companions by the ArmyLights ensues. It isn't until they escape and return to the safety of the tree that they discover the murderer. After their greatest enemy—the Cat—wreaks havoc on the tree and in the process kills the murderer, daylight dawns and the ornaments become solid again. They are returned to the Christmas Box for another year of sleep.

Secrets of the Christmas Box is a fascinating and delightful story. It is a perfect bedtime read for December (in fact, for anytime). The story is divided into 25 chapters, one for each day in December until Christmas Day. The story combines lighthearted enjoyment with a bit of tension. The characters are real, memorable and likeable. The story should appeal to children and adults alike. The prose is compatible with the reading abilities of children. And there are delightful illustrations sprinkled throughout the book.

I am sorry that I no longer have a child to read to at bedtime; I would like to have added this to Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Moore's The Night Before Christmas, which were our traditional before-Christmas bedtime stories. Lacking the child, I have passed this on to my adult granddaughter who is an English teacher. I have recommended this to her as an enjoyable holiday read.

Highly recommended for all ages.

The Book

Ecky Thump Books
Sept 1 2009
Hardcover
0981588301 / 978-0981588308
Fiction / Fantasy / written for tweeners, enjoyed by all ages
More at Amazon.com
Excerpt
NOTE: Christmas / Holiday related

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2009
NOTE:
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