Most holiday-season picture books focus on Santa Claus and the joy of giving, or receiving gifts. It’s a heart-warming experience wrapped up in a neat little box covered in pretty paper and a bow.
The best thing about this book is the way Santa Claus delivers the best possible gift to Yukio, the main character – an EPIC snowball fight! It’s not a toy or clothes or even a much-needed tool or box of supplies, it’s an activity!
The children in my life simply loved the snowball fight between a village of ninjas (and their ninja children) and a mysterious red-suited samurai who turns out to be the jolly-old-man himself. The best part? Santa reveals his identity through a letter left for Yukio, under the tree:
I hope you enjoyed the EPIC snowball fight. I made it just for you.
The story is fun, well-told and full of action and adventure. There’s a happy ending and an entire community of kids who enjoy the best snowball fight of their entire lives! So, in that respect, it’s an excellent book to read during the holidays – just for fun.
However, the book also opens up the concept of gift giving as an action instead of a thing. Sometimes the best presents don’t have wrapping paper or boxes or a place under the tree. Sometimes they are the time we spend with each other.
It’s an all-around excellent story.
–Samurai Santa, A Very Ninja Christmas, by Rubin Pingk