Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise Blog Tour: review

Author Alicia Richardson has created a new Christmas classic with her children’s book, Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise. This timeless book may soon become a Christmas tradition for families! 

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise created by Alicia Richardson; illustrated by Don Seegmiller
Book Size: 11.5 X 10.7
Page Count: 38
Category: Christmas, Children's picture book
Purchase: Amazon

You are meeting one of the greatest secrets in my toyshop: an Els Mere elf! His name is Kirby Puckernut, and he’s full of Christmas Magic… – Santa

Kirby Puckernut is Santa’s cleverest little elf. While dreaming up marvelous toys for good girls and boys, Kirby has his best idea yet – a real elf in every home, all through the holidays, spreading Christmas Magic! Santa finds the perfect family and allows Kirby to serve as the test elf for the first momentous visit.

Starting in December through Christmas Eve, Kirby travels each night to Els Mere to make toys and bring news to Santa, and returns to the family each morning with notes from Santa and other surprises. Fun and adventure are at every turn, but not everything goes as planned… Will Kirby’s idea be a success?

You will fall in love with the characters and warmth of author Alicia Richardson’s holiday creation this Christmas season. Kirby is a tradition the whole family will adore. Celebrate Christmas this year, and for many years to come, with KirbyPuckernut and the Els Mere elves!

About the author:
Alicia Richardson resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and four children. She has always had a flair for storytelling, and has given life to a special little elf named Kirby Puckernut.

From Alicia:
This magical story came about when Santa sent one of his elves, Kirby Puckernut, to live in our home at Christmastime. Kirby was creative, very fun and persistent. It wasn’t enough for him to simply observe our family and help deliver my children’s gifts – he wanted to get to know them. Our family has enjoyed the magical days of Kirby’s visits year after year.

Come share in our tradition – invite Kirby and the Els Mere elves into your home this Christmas season!

My thoughts:

Kirby Puckernut and the Christmas Surprise is a sweet holiday story with a cute premise. Santa sends one of his elves, Kirby, to the Harborsen family where he is to spread some Christmas Magic.  It seems this family's oldest daughter, Izzie, doesn't have the faith in Santa anymore and he wants to do something about that. Besides being entertaining, the story does have important messages about the importance of family, honesty, and believing--one is never too old to have faith in the man in the red suit. 

I am accustomed to thirty-two page picture books but since this is a holiday tale, six more pages of Don Seegmiller's illustrations added to the festive cheer. His ictures are truly magical. From the opening picture of Els Mere to Santa telling Kirby his plans, to the three Harborsen kids decorating the tree and Cooper reading Santa's letter, the pictures are gorgeous. Colorful and emotive, one can't tear their eyes away from each and every page.

As someone who has studied writing picture books, there were certain pages where the text was very wordy for this format. Unnecessary details slowed the pacing down and felt more like "telling" than "showing." Too much prose reminded me more of a middle grade story. I read Kirby out loud to my eight year old son and noticed he did get bogged down or bored with too much info. While he was looking at the pictures he would ask me questions (like why didn't the family car have airbags and I wondered if including a car accident was necessary for the intended audience). In order to make Kirby a true Christmas classic, the story needs to be edited down so young readers can grasp the story quickly while marveling at the beautiful pictures.

Rating: Story--3 / Illustrations--5

Cover comment: Simply wonderful. There's even a candle so Kirby can read.

Book source: I received a hardcover copy from the author in return for my honest review during a blog tour.

Official tour page

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