Friday, December 4, 2009

Review: Secrets of a Christmas Box

Summary: Enter the magical , festive world of the Christmas ‘Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, and his pet companion Tinsel, wake up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother is missing.

Unable to accept his loss, Larry, along with Tinsel, his girlfriend Debbie, and a newcomer Splint, break the laws of the ‘Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues to his brother's disappearance.

Away from the safety of the tree, and desperate to piece back their families in time for Christmas, the small Tree-Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret, that threatens their whole way of life. However, they soon realize it's not just time that's against them, as they begin to unravel the ‘ Secrets of a Christmas Box '. -- Ecky Thump Book

As part of my holiday reading, I recently read the middle grade fantasy book SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX by Steven Hornby. SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX provides a unique twist on traditional Christmas stories. In this novel, the Christmas ornaments come to life at night when no one can see them.

I liked SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX, but I'm pretty sure that this book isn't geared for me since it is a middle-grade fantasy book. However, I can definitely see the appeal for youngsters. It's a very cute story filled with fun characters and lots of action. I think SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX would make a terrific read-a-long story; and I think my five year old son would love it.

In many ways, SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX reminded me of a book that we read for our Mother Daughter Book Club called THE DOLL PEOPLE. THE DOLL PEOPLE was a story about two doll house families that came to life when no one was watching. Both SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX and THE DOLL PEOPLE were filled with lots of excitement and close calls for the characters; and both books even had a cat who caused some trouble. Most of the girls in our group loved THE DOLL PEOPLE, so I can assume that they would enjoy SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX as well.

One thing that I especially appreciated about SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX is that there were some valuable lessons in it. I liked how loyal the character of Larry was, and I even enjoyed seeing how devoted Tinsel was to Larry. In addition, I liked that Debbie's character actually matured throughout the book and even realized how wrong she was to judge Splint before she knew his entire story. There were also some characters who weren't quite on the up and up and were driven to bad behavior out of their jealousy. I don't think the messages in this novel were heavy-handed, but I do think kids will pick up on them!

I read that the author initially planned to make a movie of SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX but then decided to tell the story as a novel. I can absolutely see this book as a movie, and I think it would be a terrific one. There are a few illustrations in the book to give the reader an idea of what the ornaments look like, and I can only imagine how beautiful these "characters" would be in a movie setting.

I recommend SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX for any family with children. Middle grade children will enjoy this fun story, and I think even pre-readers will enjoy having the story read to them. I can certainly see how SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX could become a family favorite! Check out the book's trailer:

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book.


Molly said...

Good review, Julie! I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book.

Anna said...

That cover is gorgeous! I don't usually read these kinds of books, but I might be tempted by the cover alone.

Diary of an Eccentric

brizmus said...

This sounds like my Christmas fantasy! And I SO want to read it, even though I'm not a family; just a lone 27 year old! :-)

bermudaonion said...

This sounds like a great book for young readers! I miss the days of sharing stories like that with young ones.

Nely said...

I have been meaning to read this too. It just sounds super adorable. Thanks for the review.


check it out. messsge left for you there

carolsnotebook said...

We read this one, too. My daughter thought it "rocked."