The Christmas Wish

The Christmas Wish

4.4 16
by Lori Evert
     
 

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In the tradition of The Snowman, The Polar Express, and the many books of Jan Brett this cozy Nordic tale filled with extraordinary photographs will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and savor.

Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa's elves. So she

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Overview

In the tradition of The Snowman, The Polar Express, and the many books of Jan Brett this cozy Nordic tale filled with extraordinary photographs will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and savor.

Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa's elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. A generous trim-size, matte cover, and foiled title make this a special book for the holiday season.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 09/16/2013
Evert and Breiehagen’s first children’s book is a family affair, with the story built around photographs of their daughter, Anja. Set “in a place so far north that the mothers never pack away the wool hats or mittens,” the tale follows Anja as she ventures through ice and snow on skis and aided by several animals to find Santa Claus before Christmas. Dressed in a plaid jumper, Fair Isle sweater, and an elfin red cap, rosy-cheeked Anja looks like she’s stepped out of a fairy tale, and Breiehagen’s delicious (and, necessarily, digitally altered) photographs of her riding on the back of a polar bear and meeting Santa amid the snowy pines of the North Pole create the sense that magic is very real. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"A captivating Christmas story with a magic all its own.” —Starred, Kirkus Reviews

"…rosy-cheeked Anja looks like she’s stepped out of a fairy tale, and Breiehagen’s delicious (and, necessarily, digitally altered) photographs of her riding on the back of a polar bear and meeting Santa amid the snowy pines of the North Pole create the sense that magic is very real." — Starred, Publishers Weekly

"[The Christmas Wish] points to both the timelessness and the otherworldliness of a child's Christmastime wonder." —The Horn Book

"…this cozy Nordic tale filled with extraordinary photographs will have readers of all ages believing in the magic of Christmas. This is one to pull out every year and savor." The Children's Book Review

"Dreams have never been so photogenic." USA Today

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Make a wish--for a truly magical Christmas story with supersized photographs of a darling little girl napping with a polar bear, meeting a reindeer and flying across the snowy sky in Santa's sleigh. The little girl, Anja, lives somewhere "so far north that the mothers never pack away the wool hats or mittens." That snowy land is presumably Norway, where the book's photographer and author live with their real-life daughter, Anja, the charming model dressed in traditional Scandinavian clothing for the striking photographs that illustrate the story. The fictional Anja dreams of becoming one of Santa's elves, and one snowy day in December, she sets off on her skis to find Santa Claus. She is helped by talking animals, including a reindeer who leads her to Santa in his sleigh. Santa allows Anja to drive the sleigh and delivers her back to her snow-covered home with a gift of a magical bell. The superb photographs are, of course, digitally composed, but with such skill that little Anja really seems to be riding on the back of a polar bear, skiing down a mountainside or flying through the sky in Santa's sleigh. The photographs use lovely backgrounds of snowy trees, sparkling icicles and the northern lights to create an enchanted atmosphere echoed by the text, which unfolds in fairy-tale cadences. A captivating Christmas story with a magic all its own. (Picture book. 3-8)

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Long ago in a place far away in the north, "a sweet little girl named Anja" dreams of becoming one of Santa's Elves. She decides to go find Santa before Christmas. But first she helps an old neighbor and delivers gifts to her friends and family. Finally she studies the map and the stars, ties on her skies, then worries about getting lost. A red bird promises that she and other friends will help. After leading her, the bird leaves her at the foot of a mountain with a large horse that gives her shelter that night and a ride the next day. Then a musk ox leads her through a cave, after which an enormous polar bear takes her on to where a reindeer flies her to Santa Claus. She helps Santa fly his sleigh back home, where he leaves her a special gift. When Anja awakes in her bed, we wonder with her whether it was all a dream. The visual story is attractively rendered in sharply produced color photographs of Anja and the animals set in naturalistic snow-covered scenes. Mostly double page, these scenes successfully evoke the cold snowy environment as well as the dramatic events. Charming Anja, dressed in local folk costume, fur boots, and mittens, is the author's daughter. Check the differing jacket and cover. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
PreS-Gr 1—Anja longs to be one of Santa's elves. Dressed in full Nordic regalia complete with red gnomic hat, she certainly looks the part. A thoughtful and helpful child, she acts the part as well. When she skis off in her quest to find Santa, a bird, horse, musk ox, polar bear, and reindeer show her the way. The full-page photographs look like they could be movie stills, so sharp and seamless are the figures that Anja and the animals cut against the winter landscape of Northern lights, glaciers, and snowy pine trees. While the scenes of Anja offering an apple to the reindeer or curled up next to the sleeping polar bear are whimsical and look unaltered, other images are obviously manipulated. Further, the story reads as if it were written around the pictures, rather than the other way around. Nonetheless, the striking winter visuals and the adorable heroine carry the day.—Joanna Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449816813
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
9,909
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.30(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

LORI EVERT is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Christmas WishThe Tiny WishThe Reindeer Wish and The Brave Puppy. She and her family created The Wish books together. They split their time between Minnesota and Norway.

PER BREIEHAGEN is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed photographer from Norway. His credits include National Geographic, Audubon, and The New York Times Magazine. He created the images for The Wish Books with his daughter, Anja, and wife, Lori Evert.

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