Reading/Interest Level: Preschool
Author: Tracey Corderoy
Illustrator: Tony Neal
Publisher: Tiger Tales
Bear is anticipating a nice quiet Christmas—until an excitable frog knocks on his door and shakes things up! Frog had taken a wrong turn on his way to the Christmas Extravaganza Hotel, and, seeing Frog’s disappointment, Bear decides to help. Using Frog’s brochure as a guide, Bear creates his own versions of the holiday experiences Frog was expecting. The two become fast friends as Bear lovingly and patiently does all he can to give Frog a memorable stay while showing him the beauty and festivity Mother Nature has to offer. Thanks to Bear’s efforts, when all is said and done, Frog doesn’t miss the synthetic lights, supersonic sleigh, or singing Christmas tree he set out to see. Instead, Frog wants to make a reservation at Bear’s Christmas hotel for next year!
The Christmas Extravaganza Hotel pairs charming characters with a heartwarming message. Kindly Bear shows the true spirit of the Christmas season when he gives up his own peaceful holiday to help a stranger, teaching the spirit of giving. Through Bear’s nature-focused alternatives to the synthetic phenomena in Frog’s brochure, the book also presents the message that there is beauty to be found in the simple, the natural, and the peaceful when one steps back from the sometimes chaotic whirl of manufactured means of holiday celebration. The book’s artwork adds to an overall feeling of tenderness and giving with whimsical, inviting illustrations: the characters are expressive and colorful, and the palette is warm and gentle. The coziness of the book’s aesthetics and message would make The Christmas Extravaganza Hotel an excellent choice for a holiday story time or for a soothing bedtime read aloud.