- Age Range: 9 and up
- Grade Level: 4 and up
- Series: Julie Andrews Collection
- Paperback: 544 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (September 26, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060585153
- ISBN-13: 978-0060585150
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 77 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Legend of Holly Claus (Julie Andrews Collection) Paperback – September 26, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7–A letter written in 1878 to Santa Claus by a 10-year-old boy asking not for presents but to know what Santa himself wishes for allows the gent (aka Nicholas, King of Forever) and his wife to realize their greatest dream, the birth of a daughter named Holly. She is, however, cursed by an evil sorcerer, Herrikhan, who surrounds her infant heart with ice and promises to return to collect it one day. Holly grows up happy but lonely in the Land of the Immortals, and when she becomes a young woman, she takes a daring and possibly deadly trip to Victorian New York City, where she is determined to do good deeds. There she has adventures, brings joy to the hearts of young and old, and manages to foil Herrikhan with the shining purity of her love. The writing is acceptable, if a little precious, and the descriptions of Nicholas and his household are a pleasure to read, but the whole Herrikhan plot is jarring, inconsistent, and unnecessary; there are more than enough characters and subplots swirling through this novel already without the addition of a leering, black-tongued sorcerer. The drawings scattered throughout are detailed and a touch old-fashioned, a good match for the sentimental tone of the text. Fans of Alcott, Spyri, and Burnett may enjoy this long and convoluted tale.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Gr. 3-6. Forever, the Land of the Immortals, is ruled by Nicholas Claus (aka Santa) and populated by a host of greats--ranging from Bach to Merlin to Zeus. Nicholas' daughter, Holly, has been cursed by an evil warlock and must forever dwell in the ice and cold so that her heart does not melt. Drawn to the Empire City (New York, December 1896) in an attempt to break the evil spell, pure-hearted Holly finds work in a toy store, creating lifelike dolls. There she meets Christopher, an adult whose boyhood letter to Santa opens the story, and comes face-to-face with Herrikhan, the wizard who would possess her. A large cast of mostly magical characters operating in a romanticized, cinematic snow-globe world populate this classic tale of good versus evil, which will grow on readers despite its excessive length. Booktalk this offering in the Julie Andrews Collection before Thanksgiving so that families in search of a holiday read-aloud have plenty of time to finish. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I bought it for my 6 year old daughter, and this is something I regret as I am going to have to put the book away after we started reading it. The prologue and first two chapters are excellent. They are reminiscent of a fairy tale mixed with more popular classics like 'Wizard of Oz," "Mary Poppins" and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
By the third chapter, we are reading about a sadistic warlock who tortures a sentient mouse and kills it by throwing its body against a wall. Then he summons roaches to eat its body. I read through it fast and my daughter doesn't frighten easily--or we would have stopped right ther. After she went to bed, I read ahead a little, because I was concerned about this scene.
One of the main characters is grievously harmed in front of her love (who was forced to watch) by being smashed against an iron fence. Then warlock summoned a flock of evil birds to tear apart. At the end of this chapter, Santa "closed her lidless eyes."
I am not a mom who hides my child in bubble wrap or sugarcoats the world (ex - I will read my daughter "Harry Potter" and "The Witch, the Lion and the Wardrobe), but I am very shocked people are reading this to young children. I would not recommend this to a child under 10--and some sensitive 10+ year olds may find it too scary. I plan to finish the book myself (it is actually very good for an older reader), but feel sad I need to shelve it from my daughter until she is older. She reads way too well for me to verbally edit it.
Each character provides incentive for family discussion, encouraging further
exploration of history and mythology.
Vivid characterization supports remembrance of classical names and natures for
minds that appreciate education. (Suggestion: Peruse the character list or
While framed in fantasy, the story depicts practical scenarios that illustrate
such constructive values as mutual helpfulness and the wise defeat of wrong.
The writing combines a far-ranging vocabulary with a mastery of image and
phrase, a delight to experience in depth.
Drawing from many existing ideas about Santa, and fantasy themes, Brittney Ryan has produced a lovely fairy tale like story. The villain is more Grimm than Disney, for which I applaud the author, but it does make the story appropriate for more mature children than younger ones.
Thank you Brittney Ryan, and thank you to the Julie Andrews Collection!