Make a wish—for a truly magical Christmas story with supersized photographs of a darling little girl napping with a polar bear, meeting a reindeer and flying across the snowy sky in Santa’s sleigh.
The little girl, Anja, lives somewhere “so far north that the mothers never pack away the wool hats or mittens.” That snowy land is presumably Norway, where the book’s photographer and author live with their real-life daughter, Anja, the charming model dressed in traditional Scandinavian clothing for the striking photographs that illustrate the story. The fictional Anja dreams of becoming one of Santa’s elves, and one snowy day in December, she sets off on her skis to find Santa Claus. She is helped by talking animals, including a reindeer who leads her to Santa in his sleigh. Santa allows Anja to drive the sleigh and delivers her back to her snow-covered home with a gift of a magical bell. The superb photographs are, of course, digitally composed, but with such skill that little Anja really seems to be riding on the back of a polar bear, skiing down a mountainside or flying through the sky in Santa’s sleigh. The photographs use lovely backgrounds of snowy trees, sparkling icicles and the northern lights to create an enchanted atmosphere echoed by the text, which unfolds in fairy-tale cadences.
A captivating Christmas story with a magic all its own. (Picture book. 3-8)