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Thursday, 22 November 2012

Jostein Gaarder - The Christmas Mystery

I just wanted to read a Christmas Book and I can't remember where I got this book from. It all seemed a bit twee and I think it was meant for the 'young reader' but I had to keep reading it as I found it quite enjoyable. It reminded me of when the only advent calenders had pictures behind them not chocolates or toys. It also reminds us of what Christmas is all about in an informative/educational way. I could imagine myself reading this to my grandchildren or neices - a chapter each day starting from the 1st December, with an advent calender window being opened at the beginning of each story. Joachim and his Papa live in Norway. They go to the shop to buy an advent calender. Most of the shops had sold out so they went to a little curio shop. They had a quite a few calenders with chocolate hidden in them but Joachim discovered an advent calender hidden in the corner. This didn't have chocolate just pictures. They took this one home. When Joachim opened the first window he found a piece of paper with a little story written on it, the calender revealed a story in each window. The story was about a journey back through time to Bethlehem to be present at the birth of Jesus. The journey starts with a little girl named Elisabet, and a lamb but the journey through time collects more and more animals and people. There is also a coincidence in the name Elisabet, as a little girl with the same name went missing from Joachims' town and was never seen again about the time that this girl began her journey back through time. It does get repetitive in parts but you could skip those and not lose the story. Although the story is simple enough and sufficiently engaging to be read and understood by young readers, it includes some quite complicated words/phrases but there is more than enough material here to keep adults interested as well. It brings out the child in you! I would say it's a story to be enjoyed as a family as Christmas is approaching.

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