Number of Pages: 108
Publication Date: March 20, 2013
Ian is a hardworking elf at Santa’s Workshop. Unfortunately, he has been bouncing from one job to the next trying to find a place where he can soar. When the opportunity for a place in shipping comes along, he jumps on it. Not because shipping itself is interesting, but the research involved is.
This curious elf is one who loves to learn about different cultures and in general facts about Santa Claus. When an even bigger opportunity arises where Ian can take his love of knowledge a step further and become a manager, will he? Is this what he truly wants?
This clean tale is one that children will most likely enjoy. They will get to know the workings behind Santa’s workshop and the roles elves play in getting ready for Christmas. Along with elf interactions, there are a lot of topics discussed. For instance, Ian researches the different names Santa is known for (Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, etc.), how a man named Nicholas became Santa Claus, and even the idea of how Santa can visit everyone in the world in one night (hint: he bases his travel plans on time zones).
In this short chapter book, there isn’t really a big antagonist. Ian does show some internal struggle in a couple of different ways. For instance, is he willing to face his fears about public speaking? Does he truly want to become a manager?
Now, I did struggle with a couple of elements in this read. For one, most dialogue here seems forced. This may be because the elves are young, but they seem to have a vast range of knowledge, so if they are young, then that would be a bit contradictory. Because the dialogue didn’t seem natural, the conversations made me cringe a little. Perhaps a child wouldn’t this, but I did.
Another aspect are the exams that the elves who are involved in the Cultural Studies Support Group (CSS) have to take. It is unclear what exams they must take, why they must take them, and what subject(s) would be covered. It’s a cute idea, but I feel this was thrown in the story as an aside and could have been a bit more developed.
Lastly, I’m not sure if the ‘relationship’ between Ian and Elise is necessary and fits in this story. The two elves clearly like each other on some level, and even though it is innocent enough, I feel it doesn’t add to the plot and could be pulled out. I will caution that the friendship moves extremely fast to a ‘special friend’ relationship, and the fact that Ian’s first gift to Elise was jewelry might send the wrong message to children – that all women like jewelry, therefore, you need to buy them nice jewelry as gifts. Children don’t need to worry about that.
SPOILER ALERT: I do question, after so many years of delivering presents with Rudolph, how is this the first time Rudolph’s gotten a cold?
This read was fairly enjoyable; however, if it wasn’t part of the Blogger Program, I don’t think I would have picked this up on my own.
I received this eBook from OnlineBookClub in exchange for an honest review.