Christmas has come, and with it a sparkling white winterfrost over the countryside. But twelve-year-old Bettina's parents have been called away unexpectedly, leaving her in charge of the house, the farm, and baby Pia. Read more...
Christmas has come, and with it a sparkling white winterfrost over the countryside. But twelve-year-old Bettina's parents have been called away unexpectedly, leaving her in charge of the house, the farm, and baby Pia. In all the confusion, Bettina's family neglects to set out the traditional bowl of Christmas rice pudding for the tiny nisse who are rumored to look after the family and their livestock. No one besides her grandfather ever believed the nisse were real, so what harm could there be in forgetting this silly custom? But when baby Pia disappears during a nap, the magic of the nisse makes itself known. To find her sister and set things right, Bettina must venture into the miniature world of these usually helpful, but sometimes mischievous folk. A delightful winter adventure for lovers of the legendary and miraculous.
- ISBN-13: 9780763665654
- ISBN-10: 0763665657
- Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
- Publish Date: September 2014
- Page Count: 259
- Reading Level: Ages 8-12
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-09-15
- Reviewer: Staff
ever neglect a nisse. Such is the hard lesson learned by young Bettina in this novel, set in Denmark. Bettina’s grandfather, or Farfar, has always believed in the nisse, the elflike creatures rumored to look after the family and its livestock, and he never forgot to leave them a bowl of Christmas pudding. But on this first Christmas since Farfar’s death, Bettina’s parents are called away and leave her in charge. In the resulting confusion, Klaake the nisse gets no holiday treat and resorts to mischief as payback. Things get out of hand when Klaake snatches away Bettina’a baby sister and sets off a chain of dramatic magical encounters between Bettina and the nisse. Houts’s descriptions of the glistening weather phenomenon of winterfrost heighten the air of wonder in the story. The mix of fantasy, legend, and holiday tradition makes for a heady, escapist read. Ages 8–12. Agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. (Sept.)