I picked this book up over the summer when our librarian was cleaning out old books. Since I can't pass up a Christmas book, I had to have it!
Old Cyrus Grape doesn't like children. And he insists that the skating pond is his. Mr. Whiskers knows this isn't true, but since he can't prove it, there'll be no skating...not even on Christmas Day!
That is...unless cleaning Mr. Whiskers' house uncovers some important information.
I had never read Cranberry Christmas by Wende and Harry Devlin before, but I loved the language that the authors used---words like persnickety, deep in gloom, scat, scoundrel, cackled, etc, made me think of lots of classroom applications for this book (beyond just having it in my Christmas themed book box)--I could use it to help with synonyms, context clues and figurative language.
I had initially thought it was going to be more of a "turn the grumpy old man into a loveable neighbor" kind of book, but it really wasn't. The grumpy neighbor was still grumpy (maybe even grumpier) at the end of the book, but the hero (Mr. Whiskers) proved that a good heart and caring for others will win in the end.
Now, was it the best Christmas book I've ever read? No. Was it the worst? No. It is what it is, and I think some of my students will enjoy it.
Don't forget to head over to the Seasons Readings page and check out the other books/reviews and add your own!