Courtney Saves Christmas
by Emlyn Chand
When I was young, I learned to love reading so much that I would read into the night and sometimes even get into trouble for reading too late. I don't always have the time and energy to read my own books anymore, but I love to read to my son and he is definitely a book worm just like me. He likes to be read to, to interpret the story on his own, and loves to see fun pictures that go along with a story. Anytime I can get my hands on a new children's book, I am excited to show my boy (and not just because I get tired of the same stories over and over).
One of my favorite types of books to read as I got old enough to read past the Little Golden books were the Serendipity Books by Steven Cosgrove. I loved the stories that were not so long that they needed chapters, but not so short that they were "children's books". They were that in-between stage, not quite tween, but not Kindergarten either. Emlyn Chand's story, Courtney Saves Christmas, reminds me a lot of those stories. My boy and I enjoyed reading the story and talking about what we saw in the pictures.
In the story, Courtney the penguin receives the perfect gift from Santa and learns about Christmas. She is so amazed by the gift that she sets out on a journey from the South Pole to the North Pole just to thank Santa. It takes her a whole year! However, when she arrives the elves are upset because Christmas this year is in trouble and Santa believes that Courtney can be the one to help.
Emlyn has written a story that teaches lessons in a way that does not feel cliché or scripted. It is a story that we "know" but in a new way. My son is in love with penguins (his best friend is a penguin) so this story really caught his attention. Even though it is longer than what he is accustomed to, he was intrigued by the thought that "Baby's Sister" (that's what he called Courtney) was able to travel so far away and meet Santa and help him. I think this book is going to be a repeat for a while in our house.
Courtney is a peppy young penguin who just loves exploring, and is overjoyed when she receives a compass from Santa on Christmas morning. She’s so grateful for the gift, in fact, that she just needs to give Santa a great big hug and say “Thank you!” in person. The only problem is she lives in the South Pole, and Santa is all the way on the other side of the globe! With the aid of her new compass, Courtney sets off on a journey that takes her almost an entire year. By the time she reaches Santa’s workshop, the elves are in a flurry preparing for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, Rudolph is feeling very sick—too sick to guide the sleigh. If Courtney can’t find a way to help, Christmas will be ruined and all the children of the world will be devastated. What’s a little penguin to do?
Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit EmlynChand.com for more info.
More from Emlyn Chand
Available on Evolved Publishing:
The Bird Brain Books:
Honey the Hero ♦ Davey the Detective ♦ Poppy the Proud ♦ Tommy goes Trick-or-Treating ♦ Vicky Finds a Valentine
The Farsighted Series
Farsighted ♦ Open Heart ♦ Pitch (coming March 19, 2013) ♦ Vertigo (coming May 21, 2013) ♦ Refrain (coming December 2, 2013)