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!
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.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.