Ho Ho Ho, it is that time of the year again! Holidays getting planned, Christmas movies on the television, winter setting in many parts of the country! “ A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is a classic and can be read and re- read. It beautifully describes the spirit of Christmas. But if you are like me and never have enough of magic of the season, you go looking for more books around the theme of Christmas! I made a surprise discovery of “ When Santa Went Missing” by Parinita Shetty at a bookstore near my place!
Santa Claus lives in the North Pole. He lives along with his wife, two sons and a daughter.They live there along with the elves, that help Santa with all the traditions around Christmas-Some Token Toy Making (Majority of the toys don’t get made in the north pole any more, because it is a logistical nightmare to ship them all over the world! ), Sorting children’s toy request, building and maintaining sleighs and managing the reindeers.
Panic strikes when, just a few days before Christmas, Santa Claus goes missing. The elves in the north pole are convinced that he has been abducted. Avery, the elder son, who is also very averse to flying stays back to try and help his family and elves to look for Santa. But what if Santa is not found on time? Can the tens of millions of kids around the world be disappointed on Christmas?
Neol, the 11 year old daughter of Santa along with three whacky elves set out on a journey to all the toy making factories to try and see if they can collect and drop the toys on time. Neol and co go to different countries/ continents to supervise the toy making and ensure that everything is in place. Each stop is a new adventure, a new challenge and offers a new set of insights and learning.
The book is written in first person voice from Neol’s point of view. Each chapter starts in the form of a diary entry that kids will absolutely love. Sample this for a topic of one of the diary entries, “Reasons I need to be adapted by a New Family”. There are many lessons for kids in the book, but they come very light and don’t feel preachy.
There is one line I absolutely loved, where an elderly elf tells the young elf who doesn’t want to work, “ Christmas isn’t about you. We have a duty to the kids of the world”. In a world where everyone is talking about rights, it is a beautiful message that emphasises on the importance of duties as well. It applies not just to Christmas but to life in general.
Back to the story! Does Avery find Santa? Do Neol and the elves save Christmas? Good time to pick up the book here. May be sneak it up to our room to read it before the kid (who incidentally it is meant for) gets her hand on it?
Educational Value: 5/5 ( Many life lessons)
Role Model attribution: 5/5
Age Band — broad band : 10+ years
Publisher : Puffin Books Written By: Ambika Rao Illustrated by : Ruchi Shah
About the Reviewer:
G.K. : City Dweller, Nature Lover| Father to an 5 year old| Avid Reader| Loves to watch and Play Cricket| Day Job at a Start Up