I received a signed hardcover copy of this book along with its accompanying CD from the author through a giveaway he recently had on GoodReads, and the following is my honest opinion.
We all remember growing up our parents kept on telling us about Santa and how he keeps tabs on us with everything we do each day. They told us as Christmas approaches he keeps checking and rechecking his lists to make sure each child is on the correct list; the nice list and the naughty list. While we knew Santa spent the entire night going to every good boy’s and girl’s home where he’d leaved a nice gift; we never knew anything about how the naughty gifts got delivered to those naughty boys and girls.
Chip Huddleton, in this, his debut children’s book, has successfully attempted to clear this mystery up for his young readers and some of their parents. It appears Santa has a brother, the black sheep of his family, who he enlists to handle the naughty gift giving to the children on his naughty list. Santa’s brother is Snowbeard, a pirate whose home is in the Florida Keys.
Snowbeard had been reluctant at first, but his brother’s jovial manner finally convinces him to undertake the task. With the rotten old fruitcake Santa gave him and private toys made by his crew loaded onto a huge jolly-boat that will be pulled by a team of eight now-flying sharks, thanks to Santa’s magical pixie dust, Snowbeard takes off, following the route his brother gave him.
Santa had an alternative motive for plotting the course the way he did. Even though his brother was actually on the naughty list, he wanted to give his brother a nice gift for helping him the way he did. What the gift is I’m not going to say, what it was is in the book.
While I could have easily read this book as an adult, I used the accompanying CD. The addition of the music, sea shanties, and carols heard in the interludes between the actual story totally enriched the experience of having the book read to me by the author, who used his talents to give an authentic private voice to the story as well as its characters.
In the end there’s no way I can give the author, Chip Huddleston, or this book anything less the 5 STARS I’ve given it; wish I would have been able to give it 10 STARS.