Clara Claus Saves Christmas by Bonnie Bridgman & Louise Forshaw

We really enjoyed reading Clara Claus Saves Christmas, a page turning festive adventure oozing with Christmas magic. Clara and her brother Nick are put in charge of all the Christmas preparations when Santa falls sick but there’s an incredible amount of work to be done and not a lot of time…

The Story: It’s six days until Christmas. The reindeer have all been sick and now Santa, Mary Claus AND head Elf, Binky, all need to quarantine after coming down with a mysterious illness. Clara, her brother, Nick, and Binky’s daughter Cocoa are left to make sure that all the Christmas preparations run smoothly. It’s a big job – the reindeers need to be trained, the elves need encouraging, the naughty and nice lists need checking and the Joy-o-Meter must be kept above zero…

Nick and Clara take different approaches to Christmas preparations which leads to them clashing when his algorithms and statistics don’t consider the personal circumstances of each child. As Christmas Eve gets closer the elves go on strike, the toy machines aren’t functioning and the reindeer are restless. Clara needs to think quickly to find a way to ensure that Christmas doesn’t get cancelled altogether.

Clara Claus Saves Christmas includes so many wonderful aspects of Christmas – candy canes, snow globes, smells of cinnamon and hot chocolate. These are intertwined with the introduction of Santa scouts (robins and other birds who find out whether children have been naughty or nice), the eighteen strong team of flying reindeer which Clara urgently needs to train and the Joy-o-Meter which measures the Christmas spirit necessary to make Christmas magic.

Readers can follow the countdown to Christmas under each chapter heading which tells us how many days there are until Christmas, what level the Joy-O-Meter is on and particular specialties of the day.

Despite the gloom that has descended over The North Pole, festive humour lightens the easy to read text and the chapters are interspersed with Louise Forshaw’s wonderful black and white illustrations. We love the characters’ differing facial expressions which brilliantly convey their emotions as they struggle with the tasks at hand.

Extra activities are included at the end of the book which is the perfect size for a Christmas stocking. As well as sharing her special version of Jingle Bells and her Christmas list Clara also includes a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, challenges us with a Christmas word search and gives instructions for making paper Christmas trees.

Age Range: 6+

Author: Bonnie Bridgman / Illustrator: Louise Forshaw

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