Reviews for Auntie Claus


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 1999
Ages 4^-7. In this frothy Christmas escapade, bratty little Sophie Kringle decides to find out where her mysterious Auntie Claus goes each year after Halloween. So Sophie sneaks into Auntie's trunk and is whisked to a snowy land, where she is mistaken for an elf and sent to work in the mail room. It is only after Sophie erases her brother's name on the bad children's list and replaces it with her own that she learns her aunt is the real force behind Christmas and what the holiday is really about. The book's message--it's better to give than receive--might be missed in all the glam and glitter that surrounds it. If the story is a bit lean, the artwork is thick with snow, greenery, and decorations. Primavera's pictures deftly combine sophistication in the form of Auntie and her New York lifestyle with a wildly childlike world view full of snowmen, elves, and Santas dancing through the story. The velvety colorings, deep purples and icy blues mixed with traditional reds and greens, seem soft enough to touch. Like William Joyce's Santa Calls (1993), images from the book will be used promotionally by Saks Fifth Avenue. ((Reviewed September 1, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2000 Spring
When Sophie stows away on her mysterious great-aunt's ""annual business trip,"" she not only discovers that Auntie Claus is Santa Claus's sister, but she also learns a much-needed lesson about giving. With their imaginative details and interesting perspectives, the vibrant illustrations lend pizzazz to this holiday story, which offers a whimsical view of what goes on at the North Pole.Copyright 2000 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1999 September #1
A grand, if unsubtle, cousin to William Joyce's Santa Calls (1993). Smug little rich girl Sophie Kringle has a great-aunt who lives in high style atop the palatial Bing Cherry Hotel, vacating only for her mysterious annual ``business trip'' between Halloween and Valentine's Day. One year, Sophie stows away in Auntie Claus's luggage, and ends up at the North Pole, pressed into hard service as an elf. When she catches sight of the Bad-Boys-And-Girls list, and finds her little brother's name on it, she reacts with uncharacteristic, newly mustered compassion, erasing his name and adding her own in it's place; suddenly she's sharing a stage with Auntie, who turns out to be Santa's sister and, having learned that it is better to give than to receive (``the first and final rule,'' as Auntie calls it), is whisked home just in time for Christmas. Tall and slender in fur-trimmed red, Auntie Claus cuts as elegant a figure amidst the North Pole's snowy bustle as she does in her sparsely appointed New York digs; most of Primavera's expansive scenes are underlit to add an air of mystery, and presided over by looming background figures: Santa, the Statue of Liberty, a huge, moon-faced snowman. A promising bid for holiday bestsellerdom. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 September #4
A healthy dose of holiday magic abounds in a picture book poised to make a big splash. A little bit Auntie Mame, a little bit Coco Chanel, Sophie Kringle's glamorous great-aunt lives in a penthouse atop Manhattan's Bing Cherry Hotel. Auntie Claus disappears every holiday season on a mysterious business trip and, determined to discover her destination, Sophie stows away and follows her. Larded with scrumptious visual foreshadowing, Primavera's hilariously arch gouache and pastel illustrations are the highlight of this merry confection. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) FYI: The author has established a Web site for the book at www.auntieclaus.com, and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City has chosen Primavera's tale as the theme for its holiday window display. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 1999 October
K-Gr 2-Why does the elegant and mysterious Auntie Claus go away on a "business trip" every year, from November to February? Young Sophie Kringle, whose family loves Christmas so much they keep their tree up all year long, wants to find out. Stowing away in her aunt's luggage, she becomes a worker elf in a place readers will recognize as Santa's workshop. Illustrated with flair in gouache and pastels in deep, vibrant colors, the engaging pictures brim with funny and surreal details, such as Christmas-tree shaped hairdos. The none-too-subtle message-that it's better to give than to receive-nearly overwhelms the story, but the narrative is ultimately successful. Readers will end up cheering for Sophie as she discovers the true meaning of the season.-S.P. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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