AUNTIE CLAUS by Elise Primavera


Age Range: 6 - 8
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A grand, if unsubtle, cousin to William Joyce’s Santa Calls (1993). Smug little rich girl Sophie Kringle has a great-aunt who lives in high style atop the palatial Bing Cherry Hotel, vacating only for her mysterious annual “business trip” between Halloween and Valentine’s Day. One year, Sophie stows away in Auntie Claus’s luggage, and ends up at the North Pole, pressed into hard service as an elf. When she catches sight of the Bad-Boys-And-Girls list, and finds her little brother’s name on it, she reacts with uncharacteristic, newly mustered compassion, erasing his name and adding her own in it’s place; suddenly she’s sharing a stage with Auntie, who turns out to be Santa’s sister and, having learned that it is better to give than to receive (“the first and final rule,” as Auntie calls it), is whisked home just in time for Christmas. Tall and slender in fur-trimmed red, Auntie Claus cuts as elegant a figure amidst the North Pole’s snowy bustle as she does in her sparsely appointed New York digs; most of Primavera’s expansive scenes are underlit to add an air of mystery, and presided over by looming background figures: Santa, the Statue of Liberty, a huge, moon-faced snowman. A promising bid for holiday bestsellerdom. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-15-201909-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1999


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