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How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas by Jeff Guinn

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas (2005)

by Jeff Guinn

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In The Autobiography of Santa Claus, his wife Layla was much more than a silent partner to the Jolly One. In this second “Christmas Chronicle” by Jeff Guinn, Layla plays an even more prominent role. How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, set in the 17th Century, tells the true story of how the good people of Canterbury, England – inspired by Layla’s and their own devotion to Christmas – “save” the holiday for future generations.

The villains in the story are Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans, who made any celebration of Christmas illegal. This hits England’s poor children hardest. With basic survival becoming more and more difficult, will the government be allowed to take one day of happiness away? Not if Layla can help it.

Like the other two books in this series, reading aloud the 24 chapters of How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas would make a wonderful Christmas tradition. (An unabridged audio book is also available.) Parents concerned that any story about Santa and Mrs. Claus would take away from the true meaning of Christmas need not worry. The author never forgets the First Christmas story and, at the same time, shows great respect for individuals of all faiths. A big plus is that How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas makes history come alive … and just might ignite or rekindle interest in that subject for readers or listeners young or old.

By Diana. First published in the Cozy Library November 27, 2006.

Review based on publisher- or author-provided review copy.
  NewsieQ | Jan 22, 2011 |
This is a follow-up to Guinn's "Autobiography of Santa Claus," which I haven't read. This "autobiographical" work tells the story of how Mrs. Claus "saved" Christmas during the time of Cromwell's rule in England in 1647. The only reason I finished the book, was because I was interested in the historical facts.

Mrs. Claus is alone in England (with the exception of a couple of Santa's helpers) during the English Civil War. Santa Claus is in the New World establishing Christmas traditions there. Mrs. Claus stayed behind in England because she "sensed" the Puritans meant to do away with Christmas "forever."

I didn't enjoy this book much. The sentence structure was simplistic and the characters were one-dimensional. I'm not sure who Guinn thought his audience was. It was too plodding and slow for a juvenile audience and too elementary for adults. Again, I only finished it because I was interested in the historical aspects, but I really wanted to just put it down and re-read "Skipping Christmas'' by John Grisham. ( )
  janoorani24 | Dec 12, 2008 |
Guinn follows up a fine effort of melding history, mythology, and faith in "Autobiography of Santa Claus" with a tedious and forced effort in "Mrs. Claus". In trying to set the historical stage, he variously repeats himself, gets off onto tangents, uses a hammer to make his point about women's equality, and, generally, makes the story hard to follow. This makes it tough reading for the child who would appreciate hearing Mrs. Claus's own story, while making it no fun for the adult, either. Still, the whole concept of the Claus's autobiographies is well thought out, and, if you are patient with the writing, it does provide a fine account of what England was going through during and after the Civil War. ( )
  Osbaldistone | Jul 14, 2006 |
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Remaining in England while her husband works to establish holiday traditions in the New World, Mrs. Claus organizes a protest march through the streets of Canterbury when the Puritan government makes the celebration of Christmas illegal.

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