Authors: Charity Kountz and Ryan Kountz (Contributor)
Year published: November 9, 2012
Publisher: Independent – Kountz Marketing Group
Number of pages: 118
Recommended age: 5+
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
This story is about a brother and sister named Jason and Lizzie who make a wish for snow after they move to Texas. It does snow and Jason and Lizzie go outside to play in the snow. They then get transported to a Snowman Village where they meet Morty, the snowman who tells them that the Snowman Village is melting and Christmas is in danger of being canceled. They go to the North Pole to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. After they visit Mother Nature and find out she is gone and the weather machine is broken, they then go on a mission to find Jack Frost who is the only one who can save Christmas.
My Thoughts: Jason, Lizzy and the Snowman Village is a fun story, that I read aloud to my children, featuring a brother-sister team who are whisked away with a talking and moving snowman, Morty (not Frosty!) on a magical journey taking them from Texas to the North Pole. Snowmen awaken every Christmas eve until the end of Christmas day and bring the Christmas spirit; but, the weather is awry with snow in Texas and the temperature too warm in the Snowman Village and in danger of melting before Christmas even begins. When Jason, Lizzy and Morty as well as some other “familiar characters” such as Santa, Rudolf, and Dasher visit Mother Nature to ask for her help, they soon discover that the weather machine has been tampered with by Gary, a turkey and Jonah, a penguin (two very colourful characters!) and is in need of repair.
Jason, Lizzy, and Morty must continue on and ask for help from the reclusive Jack Frost who has had a falling out with Santa.
Armed with determination, courage, their wits, and a basket of goodies from Mrs. Claus, the trio embark on a dangerous journey to Jack Frost’s icy castle where they are met by some nasty golems. I liked how the golems were portrayed as evil antagonists, but not in such a way that they would be frightening to young children. There was just the right level of tension for even children as young as 5 or 6.
The story in this book reminded me of some of the older stop-motion animation movies from the 1960’s and 70’s such as The Year Without a Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This book had the same feel – it was a sweet, kid-friendly story with likable and helpful main characters who encouraged each other and treated each other with respect and kindness. It is very much a feel-good book which contains important messages about courage, kindness, and forgiveness – themes that remain important year-round. I agree with my daughter (see below) that this book could be read at any time of year.
There was a bit of confusion for me about the back-story to the connections among the snow in Texas, the Snowman Village, the snowmen, and Christmas. I think there should have been a bit more time fleshing out why it was important that the Snowman Village not melt before Christmas. I think the story features a great adventure that kept us totally engaged, but the overall mission and the purpose behind it (outlined in the first few chapters) was not entirely clear. I think the other loose thread for me was the back-story to the falling out between Santa and Jack Frost. I think to fully understand why an apology and forgiveness was necessary, we needed more detail. All three of us wanted to know what happened – human nature I guess!!
My bottom line: Jason, Lizzy and the Snowman Village is a feel-good adventure, featuring a trio of likable characters in Jason, Lizzy, and Morty, a few familiar faces (and reindeer), and some important underlying messages about courage, kindness, and forgiveness. I think this book can be read any time of year, but would obviously also make a great Christmas-time story. This book can easily be read aloud to children 5 years old and older and by independent readers 7 years and up.
1. Who are main characters and what did you think of them? Jason and Lizzie are the main characters and they are brother and sister, but they are opposite of me and Dominic because the boy is older. Jason was nice to his little sister just like I am to my little brother.
2. What was your favorite part of the book? My favorite part of the book is when they get to the ice sculptures just outside of Jack Frost’s castle because it reminded me of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief when they get to Medusa’s restaurant.
3. Was there anything you didn’t like about the book? I felt that the book didn’t quite make sense that they said Christmas was in danger because there was no snow because they still celebrate Christmas in places where there is no snow like Hawaii and Australia. I didn’t know what the story was supposed to be about because they were supposed to save the Snowman’s Village and then it changed to saving Christmas. I don’t see the connection between the two.
4. What do you think of the cover of the book? I think the cover could have been a bit better because they all have the same expression on their face. The reindeer look good though.
5. What lessons did you learn from this book? I learned that it’s important to be kind to others like the kids bringing cookies to Jack Frost. I also learned about apologizing and forgiveness when Santa apologized to Jack and Jack forgave him, although I don’t know what the problem was between them.
6. Overall, how did you like the book? The book was good and I liked my Mommy reading it to me. It was a good read-aloud book, but it’s too young for someone my age (10) to read by themselves.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think kids between the ages of 5 and 8 would like this book. And I think you can read this book any time of year – not only around Christmas.
Daughter Rating: ★★★★☆
Daughter Rating: ★★★★☆
*** This book was provided to us free-of-charge by the author exchange for an honest review.***
About The Author (Amazon):
Charity Kountz‘s work can be found in a variety of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry markets. Her writing specialties include fantasy fiction, mainstream literature, nonfiction, and free verse poetry. She has been known to dabble in thrillers, horror, and even the occasional romantic story, in both short story and novel lengths. As a published author, Charity writes content for a variety of websites, corporate and small business clients, magazines, newspapers and more.
In addition to being an author, Charity is also a wife, mother to two daughters she adores, entrepreneur, and a Marketing Consultant. She tweets almost obsessively, is addicted to CSI, plays poker and Guild Wars occasionally, reads on average two books a week and writes whenever she can. Somewhere among all of that, she manages to sleep. She is originally from Florida but lives in the great state of Texas, which she is proud to call home.
Please visit http://charitykountz.com/ for more information on Charity Kountz and her books.