The Book of Kringle: Legend of the North Pole

Derek Velez Partridge and Mary Packard, illus. by David Wenzel. Vista Clara Productions (thebookofkringle.com), $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-692-46717-6
In this action-driven Santa Claus origin story, an elf narrator explains that the North Pole was once ruled by a greedy king, who forced the elves to work in polar crystal mines—including his warm-hearted brother, Kris. Just before Christmas, the elves wake to find that someone has put gold coins in their socks, which enables them to pay the king to take time off for Christmas. Their merriment sparks the king’s rage and leads to a revolt. Following a somewhat muddled sequence, in which an elf child delivers a prophecy about Santa Claus and a year passes as the king awaits Santa’s return, Santa (whose identity will surprise few) takes his rightful place as benevolent ruler of the North Pole. Wenzel creates a rich fantasy landscape, complete with polar bear–driven sleighs and a menacing crown of antlers for the evil king. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
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