The Bookworm Sez: Even Santa needs a little help sometimes

You’re always Mom’s Best Helper. You bring her things when she needs them. You keep your room clean and you do chores around the rest of the house, too. She really appreciates when you lend a hand, and in the new book “Only YOU Can Save Christmas!” by Adam Wallace, pictures by Garth Bruner (c.2017, Sourcebooks, $16.99, 32 pages), you’ll see that even Santa needs a little help sometimes.

Meet Wink Silverbells.

Wink is an elf, and he’s the boss of the toy workshop at the North Pole. It’s a big job, as you can guess, and Wink does very well at it. Most times, everything goes smoothly but there are Christmases when one little thing causes trouble…

Like this year, when Wink finds a list that he didn’t see before.

Uh oh. It had to be Santa’s own personal gift list for Mrs. Claus. Everyone knows that can’t be left behind! Wink couldn’t possibly ignore it, so he has an emergency on his hands and he needs all the help he could get.

The first thing on the list is a … what?

“Who has a partridge in a pear tree?” Wink asks.

Well, never mind. It’s on the list, it has to be found, and there isn’t much time to find it. If you could help with that first thing, Wink is pretty sure he can find the second thing on the list, or at least something pretty close.

Hmmm… three French hens. Do they have to speak French? Of course they would, if they’re French, right? You can help get them, while Wink brings what’s fourth on the list. Hurry, though, because there are many more things you’ll have to find and it’s starting to get awfully crowded in the room. Maybe it’s time for a party? That might really help Wink with Santa’s list.

Mrs. Claus will be so happy that you helped. For sure, Wink appreciates what you’ve done. So will Santa, when he comes to check that things are ready to go on Christmas Eve, but he’s also now a little confused. What’s going on, who made the mess, and why is Santa laughing?

Whatever his reason, your child will be, too, when you’ve got “Only YOU Can Save Christmas!” in your hands.

That’s because this book absolutely demands participation. Author Adam Wallace asks kids to whistle and make siren noises, dance and shake and squirm in order to help his main character with what’s on a missing Wish List. As the story gets wilder, so do the requests, until kids are up on their feet.

Feel free, as you’re reading this book aloud, to embellish: more whistling might be better. More honking and yodeling, please. That leads to even more fun with this book, and illustrations by Garth Bruner become the icing on the Christmas cake.

Absolutely, this is not a bedtime book. It’s more for a preschool or a church group or kids’ holiday party so give ‘em room, stand back, and start “Only YOU Can Save Christmas!” Your child can’t help but love it.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Email her at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

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