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Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby
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Secrets of a Christmas Box

by Steven Hornby

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It's sad that I didn't get this read until last weekend. A great Christmas story that I want to re-read each Christmas. for those of us who are adults and try to keep our imaginations well timed this book is a treat. Every night after the humans go to sleep the Christmas tree ornaments come alive. The book opens with teh tree dwellers greeting each other and talking about their new home or where they are on the branches. Larry the snowman goes about looking for his brother Terrance. Unable to find him, Larry and three friends set off on a dangerous journey where they learn everything is not as it seems. Jealousy reign among the tree dwellers. This is a must read story each Christmas. ( )
  skstiles612 | Feb 8, 2010 |
This was a cute book aimed at children to entertain with the tale of the lives of the Christmas tree ornaments and what they do when the humans go away. The story revolves around three ornaments Larry, Debbie, and Splint and Larry's "dog" Tinsel who head out away from the safety of the Christmas tree to find out why Larry's brother Terrence didn't make it back it the tree this year. They encounter numerous obstacles and injuries that they need to overcome before they can return to the tree with their story of what has happened.

I have read several Christmas tales, and while this one is amusing, I think that it is better suited for children less than 6 yrs old. It reminded me of the book [Doll People] that I read earlier this year, but not quite on the same level of quality. ( )
  cyderry | Dec 26, 2009 |
I started this book on December 1st and have been reading one chapter a night, intending to finish up on December 24th. I actually ended up having to finish the last two chapters on the 22nd. Holiday travel was going to interrupt my schedule.

This was a cute Christmas story. I don't think I will ever look at tree lights and ornaments the same again. I will say it had more violence in it than I was expecting and some scary moments. I would be okay with older children reading it. I'm not sure if it would be too scary for younger ones.

I really loved the character Larry. You just wanted to hug him. Debbie on the other hand was a bit annoying but I'm pretty sure that was his intent. Oh and lets not forget Tinsel. He was the cutest tinsel/dog I've ever read. Okay well the only tinsel/dog I've ever read, but he was still cute. Then there was Splint. He was a great little leader.

I loved all the illustrations in the book. They helped bring the book to life. I wish more books today did that.

At the end of the day I enjoyed this book a lot and reading it one chapter a night with your kids (older, younger, I would recommend parent skim book before deciding) would be a great way to spend the month of December. (received from publisher for review) ( )
  Ziaria | Dec 25, 2009 |
Deep in the recesses of one family’s Christmas tree, many ornaments are waking up from their year-long nap. When Larry the Snowman discovers that his brother is missing from the tree, he sets off with his friends—his girlfriend, Debbie the Reindeer Woman, the devoted Tinsel, and newcomer Splint—on a never-before-done adventure: they are going to leave the tree to find out what happened to Larry’s brother. What they discover is much more sinister than they could ever imagine, and it’s up to the brave ornaments to save the day for them all…or die trying.

SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX is another of those books that is difficult to market. At around 200 pages full of mostly text, it’s too advanced for a toddler or early elementary school kid which is probably the ideal audience for this story. The occasional small illustration will not satisfy the young audience’s desire for literary participation. And the infantilizing tone of the book will turn away older readers.

Perhaps the best thing one can do with this book is to have it as a holiday read-aloud, or a bedtime story for really young children. The author is a pretty successful writer for the silver screen, but his tendencies to “write young” show in the clichéd dialogue: the human parents of the house in which the tree is located, for example, only address one another as “love” and talk of mundane subjects that come straight out of a fifties TV sitcom like Leave It to Beaver. Indeed, Hornby’s original idea had been to write this story as a screenplay for an animated film, and I believe it would’ve worked a lot better that way. Little kids would be much more entertained if the cheesy story and writing were accompanied by cool animated effects.

It was a cute idea, but it’s extremely difficult to get past the writing to grasp the themes of this book. Parents and guardians of young children can consider this as a cute little story to read by the fireplace (you can really ham up the voices with this dialogue), but those who don’t have small children may want to pass on this one. ( )
  stephxsu | Dec 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0981588301, Hardcover)

Enter the magical festive world of the Christmas 'Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, wakes up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother is missing.
Desperate to find him before Christmas, Larry, along with his girlfriend Debbie, a newcomer Splint, and Larry's companion Tinsel, break the laws of the 'Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues.
Away from the safety of the tree and in an unfamiliar world, the Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret that threatens their entire world. Can Larry and the group make it back to the tree in time to warn the others, and finally uncover the truth behind the 'Secrets of a Christmas Box'?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:16 -0400)

When Larry and his friends, Christmas tree ornaments known as "Tree-Dwellers," awaken from their long sleep in the Christmas box, they discover Larry's brother is missing. They break the law of the Tree-Elders by leaving the tree to look for clues, and discover a dark secret that threatens their entire world.… (more)

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