When Santa fell to Earth

Cornelia Caroline Funke

Book - 2006

When he and his caravan come crashing down to earth during a thunderstorm two weeks before Christmas, Santa is befriended by two children, Charlotte and Ben, who try to help him save the holiday from the tricks and moneymaking schemes of Gerold Geronimus Goblynch and to take off in time for his annual rounds.

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jFICTION/Funke, Cornelia Caroline
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Subjects
Published
New York : Scholastic 2006.
Edition
1st American ed
Language
English
German
Item Description
Translation of: Als der Weihnachtsmann vom Himmel fiel.
"Chicken House."
Physical Description
164 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
ISBN
043978204X
9780439782043
Main Author
Cornelia Caroline Funke (-)
Other Authors
Oliver Latsch (-), Paul Howard (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Now that Funke's U.S. name recognition is rock solid, it will surprise few to see her foreign backlist emerge in English editions. In this illustrated Christmas novel originally published in Germany in 1994, short chapters tell of a grinchy takeover in Yule Land, where the region's crack team of Santas has been forced to submit to new, moneygrubbing policies. A renegade good Santa recruits main-character Ben and a lonely neighborhood girl to help topple the tyrant. Many members of the chapter-book audience will count themselves too worldly to truck with books about Santa, and for every glimmer of the invention that distinguishes Funke's later efforts, there are some odd notes, such as references to Ben's math difficulties, which read like a gleeful endorsement of cheating. Still, there are few Christmas-themed options for children wanting something more substantial than a picture book, and families seeking a seasonal, chapter-a-day read-aloud will find the cookie-cutter story line perfectly palatable alongside eggnog and gathered loved ones. ((Reviewed November 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

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.) [Page 72]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

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 companionstwo 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 [Page 96]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When he and his caravan come crashing down to earth during a thunderstorm two weeks before Christmas, Santa is befriended by two children, Charlotte and Ben, who try to help him save the holiday from the tricks and moneymaking schemes of Gerold GeronimusGoblynch and to take off in time for his annual rounds.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When he comes crashing down to earth during a thunderstorm two weeks before Christmas, Santa is befriended by two children, Charlotte and Ben, who try to help him save the holiday from the tricks of Gerold Geronimus Goblynch.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

With Gerold Geronimus Goblynch working hard to ruin Christmas, Santa looks to Charlotte and Ben for assistance in keeping tabs on Gerold and his Nutcracker villains while he devises a plan to end this anti-gift-giver's moneymaking scheme.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

What would happen if Santa fell to Earth? Christmas through the eyes of Cornelia Funke: quirky, funny, ultimately heartwarming, and packaged in a collectible format. A new holiday classic!Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he's not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determind to put an end to children's wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinchlike plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons to save Christmas!

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he's not safe: Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determind to put an end to children's wishes and turn the holiday season into his own personal moneymaking scheme. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinchlike plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons to save Christmas!