“Benjamin P. Blizzard: Welcome to Christmastown” is the story about a polar bear, Benjamin Polarcap Blizzard (“Benny” for short), and his family who move to Christmastown, North Pole shortly before Easter. Benny’s mother, Beatrice, was a respected doctor among polar bears and moved the family to Christmastown so that she could take over retiring Dr. Aloe-Elf’s medical practice. Benny’s father, Bernard, was an inventor and an engineer and impressed Santa and Mrs. Claus with his work that they gave him the title of First Chief Design-Engineer.
The book centers on 5-year-old Benny who “was a curious, adventurous, and rambunctious delight of a cub.” He made friends with the elf children but found he was not quite as nimble as them; in fact, he was very clumsy compared to them. Even though Benny has a mishap that could have been devastating, Santa shows everyone the good in it and a lesson is learned.
Cayden: “Why aren’t there hardly any pictures in this book? There are a lot of words!”
Max: “Bear fall!”
Cayden: “Mom- I think he wrecked all of the toys!!”
Cayden: We leave out cookies and milk for Santa too.”
Cayden: “His mommy and daddy don’t know where he is! They are worried!”
This book was sent to us as “preschool reviewers” and though it is a good story I think it was a little too long (41 pages) for the preschool age group. I had a hard time getting my children interested in the book in the beginning, but once the character of Benny was introduced my 4-year-old took more interest. However, the lack of illustrations made it hard to keep him involved in the book. Sometimes ten pages go by without a picture and with 100+ words per page that is a long time for a little one not to have anything visual to look at.
We are all familiar with the classic Christmas and North Pole books and it is refreshing to see a new story from such a classic theme. The storyline of “Benjamin P. Blizzard: Welcome to Christmastown” was positive and original. I think that this book would be better suited for an older school-age child as it was a little overwhelming for my preschool-aged children.
Benjamin P. Blizzard: Welcome to Christmastown
Living Waters Publishing (2007)
Reviewed by (age 4) and (age 2) and for Reader Views (6/08)