Prather’s Pick: A different view of the North Pole
“Santa Kid” is a picture book, written by James Patterson and illustrated by Michael Garland, and it has a very “different” plot, indeed.
The main character is Chrissie. She lives at the North Pole with Mama and Daddy — Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. The story is told from her point of view. And guess what? According to Chrissie, Santa isn’t fat, either.
At Christmas, Mama puts stuffing in his red suit. Santa doesn’t have a beard. However, he grows one around Christmas, and Mama bleaches it white. At other times of the year he looks like most dads, except that he has a round nose that we equate with Santa.
They all live at the North Pole where there is a Santa’s Toy Workshop and reindeer and Christmas doves and mice and Santa’s elves. (One elf, Ooff, is six foot seven.) Chrissie’s best reindeer friend is Rhymer, and he wears a top hat that sticks up right between his ears.
Chrissie asks her dad how he can deliver all of the gifts on Christmas Eve and how he gets the reindeer to fly, but he just tells her to believe.
So things go along as you might expect at the North Pole right up to the day that an airplane lands on Reindeer Field. It’s a big white airplane with EXMAS, EXMAS, EXMAS written all over the side , nose, and tail of the plane in green and EXPRESS, EXPRESS, EXPRESS right under it in red.
Inside is Warrie Ransom, the Big Boss of the EMAS EXPRESS COMPANY. He’s not a nice guy. He marches right into Santa’s office and announces that he’s there to buy Christmas — and that means the North Pole, too. When Santa says it isn’t for sale, Ransom just laughs a mean laugh.
Sure enough, I don’t know how he did it, but the next day the news is in “The Cold Times” and other newspapers and on television, even “Nickelodeon,” that EXMAS EXPRESS has bought the North Pole, and Christmas is to be called EXMAS.
So the families of the company move in, arriving in their fancy black cars. The North Pole takes on the look of a factory with smoke stacks and floodlights. At the Toy Workshop, new toys are being produced, like Weird Wally Warmunga, Princess Pee Pee and Poo Poo, and Doggie Doo Doo.
The goal is to produce toys for 5 out of 10 children. The elves quit working. The doves won’t fly. Santa takes to his bed and grows fat and produces a long beard. A fleet of white semi-trucks arrive with the company’s logo on the sides.
Things look bad, but Chrissie is there, and she remembers what her father said about believing.
This is a creative story that kids will enjoy.
“Santa Kid” is published by Little, Brown and Company (2008). It costs $18.99 in hardcover or you can find it in the children’s room at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.
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