Nomad's Joyous Christmas
by Harriet Cameron
Trafford Publishing

"Take a break, Nomad. You're making me tired just watching you."

The hectic holiday season has ended for Santa's elves, and now begins the clean-up phase. Perfect for family storytelling around the hearth, this children's story revolves around a mute, always wandering elf fittingly named Nomad. The accompanying pictures depict the elves effort to return all the unused holiday materials to the North Pole warehouse. The author does an exceptional job of portraying the day-to-day activities of the North Pole residents. In many ways, Santa and Mrs. Claus are the parents, while the elves are their children. In spite of an impending storm, the elves are determined to take the materials back on the sleigh. On their way back, however, they realize that their beloved Nomad is missing. After nearly a month without hearing from Nomad, the elves, Santa, and Mrs. Clause sit depressed, but not without hope. Meanwhile, Nomad is rescued from the blizzard by a family of kind snowbirds. Overtime, the mother snowbird teaches Nomad to make sounds from his throat, and ultimately talk. Although parting from the snowbirds is tough, Nomad cannot wait to rejoin his elven brothers, Santa, and Mrs. Claus.

Throughout the story, the author emphasizes hope and kindness, regardless of how grim the circumstances may be. When Nomad is reunited on Christmas Eve, nearly a year later, his Song of Praise to celebrate Baby Jesus helps his friends, children, and everyone else understand that the hope we feel in our heart is a result of Jesus Christ's sacrifice for his children. Overall, Cameron's job of balancing a feel-good Christmas story with learning lessons for children and insight into the religious meaning of the holiday is commendable.

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