Lionel's Christmas Adventure

What other book would I review on December 25th? 

*Lionel's North Pole visit teaches him (and your kids too) a valuable lesson about people's varied experiences during the holidays (for more insight into this, check out this recent article I found on the Washington Post site)   
*Big fan of the main character not getting the thing he wanted all along -- some lesser authors would have had him learn the key lesson, then followed it up with a perceived double happy ending
*I liked how Paul Hewlett didn't feel the need to automatically switch to inner voice every time a noteworthy detail was revealed in quoted conversation, but rather let the exchanges play out

*If you've written previous installments on the life of a character, that doesn't mean you can ignore repeating things like time period, his/her age, etc -- I only learned these details after finishing the book by scouring the Internet for author interviews 
*This mysterious (adjective-laden name shortened for my own sanity) Walbaun foot obviously plays a huge role in Lionel's world, but, like the items I highlighted above, I have no idea how he acquired it -- oh, and it's a weird phrase, to boot 
*If you're gonna self-publish, you can't have grammatical errors on the back cover -- ironically, my perfunctory Google search found one instance of Hewlett mentioning the value of proofreaders (I'd like their names so that I don't use them when I write my own material)

When I received my copy of LCA in the mail, I thought, "uh oh, this might be awful."  It had the same look to it as some other self-published stuff I have seen over the years that totally missed the mark.  It's tough to explain, but it usually involves a combination of fonts and artwork on the cover that would be on an endcap at Dollar Tree if publishing operated more like the retail world.  Still, energized by Christmas spirit, I eagerly dove into the forty or so pages to confirm my hunch.  And you know what?  It wasn't half bad.  If your child can make it to the end, there's some really good stuff in those last few pages.  Overall, LCA is not a book I would ever pay for (even though the price is VERY reasonable), yet it might be worth snagging from a friend after Thanksgiving break for a one-time refresher course on what the holidays are really all about.

Buy / BORROW / Donate / Destroy

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