Cornelia Funke is a critically acclaimed, award-winning, international best-selling author. She lives in Los Angeles, USA with her family and a dog called Loonie!
Funke's (Inkheart) reinvention of the Santa myth involves foul-mouthed elves, invisible reindeer and angels who sew, bake, cobble boots and collect children's dreams for Niklas Goodfellow, the last real Santa. After Goodfellow's caravan plummets to the earth during a thunderstorm, a kind boy named Ben, with nasty parents and a self-esteem problem, is bullied into knocking on the caravan's door. He learns Goodfellow is in grave danger from Gerold Goblynch, a Santa who's crossed over to the dark side, embracing a commercialized Christmas and sending the reindeer to the meat-packing plant. The wild explanations of Santa's operations and the scatological humor may appeal to kids who no longer believe, but younger children may be horrified at reindeer turned into salami, or frightened by Goblynch's giant Nutcracker henchmen. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Gr 4-7-The leader of the Great Christmas Council, one Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, has outlawed all of the old, magical ways. Snowmobiles have replaced reindeer, elves and angels are banned, and noncompliant Santas are turned into chocolate. Niklas Goodfellow is the last "real" Santa. He and his ramshackle companions-two fat angels named Matilda and Emmanuel, an invisible reindeer, and a bunch of foulmouthed elves ("steaming reindeer poo!")-are hiding from the Council. Luckily, local children Ben and Charlotte and Charlotte's dog, Mutt, join forces to save Niklas from a chocolatey fate. Funke's holiday fantasy, originally published in Germany in 1994, appeals on many levels and is surprisingly fresh. Howard's charming drawings, many full page, add just the right touch. Wonderfully imaginative details, adventure, danger, and a brave young Santa who fights to preserve all that is magical and special about Christmas make this a perfect read over a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.