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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful Christmas story I have ever read.,
By A Customer
This is the story of Pookie, the rabbit, who is worried that Santa might not be real. So one snowy Christmas eve he sets off to look for him. After waiting for a long time in the cold, dark forest he finally meets up with Santa and goes with him to see where all the toys are made. Pookie sees all the little goblins and elfs hard at work, samples some of the toffee and is given a new gardening fork. Santa then invites Pookie and his woodland friends back for a banquet to say thank-you for believing in him.
I was given this book as a child and loved it. It is beautifully illustrated and is every thing that Christmas should be; snow, Santa Claus, spicy foods and lots of excitement. I have since bought it for my daughter and have read it every night as Christmas approaches.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories,
This review is from: Pookie Believes in Santa Claus (Paperback)
I had been read the Pookie books as a small child, and read them myself aged 4. Unfortunately, as they were library books, I was unable to keep them, and they were returned to be reborrowed a few weeks later. I remembered the wonderful illustrations and the stories, and when I was about 25 I tried to buy the set, only to discover they were out of print. When I found that they were in print again I bought them, and found that the simple stories I remembered were more deep and insightful than I could have imagined. The wonderful illustrations have remained in my memory all these years, and the stories are as interesting to todays youngsters as they were to me. I commend these to anyone who loves childrens stories!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Christmas Story for the young,
I was delighted to find this book was still available. I lost mine after many house moves. Now a grandmother I couldn't wait to read this story to the next generation. It has delightful illustrations by Ivy Wallace to go with an enchanting story to bring back the magic into Christmas. Pookie the white rabbit with wings is not sure if there really is a Father Christmas, his friends think there is, but doubt still lingers. Will Pookie be disappointed?
4.0 out of 5 stars Pookie's Crisis of Christmas Belief,
Pookie's Crisis of Christmas Belief
Ivy L. Wallace is a marvellous author-illustrator, leaving aside her other, now neglected, work as an author of full-length children's novels.
Her "Pookie", and "Pookie Puts the World Right" are amongst the best picture-story books ever written.
By comparison, "Pookie Believes in Santa Claus" is almost as good, but arguably not in the same top quality.
What is it about?
"Pookie Believes in Santa Claus" tells another story of Pookie, the little rabbit who has been born, through some happy accident of magic, with wings, even though no other rabbits, in his own family, or elsewhere, can fly.
Having been forced to leave his own home (in "Pookie"), to seek his fortune, Pookie now lives with Belinda, the kind daughter of a wood-cutter.
Pookie's woodland world is a gentle fantasy blend of Arthur Rackham-like elves and goblins in an almost idyllic forest world, among wood-folk such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, moles and owls -- think of Beatrix Potter's animals or Allison Uttley's wonderful "Little Grey Rabbit" picture-story books -- as well as elves, goblins, pixies and similar creatures of fairytale.
In "Pookie Believes in Santa Claus", the story opens a few days before Christmas.
Pookie is puzzled. He HEARS everyone talking about Santa Claus, and the wonderful presents Santa Claus brought in earlier years. But he SAW Belinda's father secretly putting Belinda's sturdy new shoes beside her bed on the previous Christmas Eve, and he KNOWS Belinda secretly made his own Christmas present of red trousers: and so on.
When Pookie discusses this with his woodland friends, naturally no one has SEEN Santa Claus, and the best any of them can say is that they HOPE there is a real Santa Claus. But they all have DOUBTS.
Then, on Christmas Eve, the woodland folk gather in the wood for the "Great Thank You". This involves an outdoor sharing and feasting of homemade Christmas-tide goodies, and then, at one minute to midnight, a collective lifting of happy faces to the star-filled sky, and a quietly smiled "Thank you", for the joy of living.
(Clearly this is a variant of the legend retold in Thomas Hardy's Christmas poem, where at midnight on Christmas Eve all the animals kneel in adoration and memory of the birth of the Christ Child. Published in 1953, "Pookie Believes in Santa Claus" is about FOUR YEARS earlier than Dr Seuss's classic "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Uttley's "Little Grey Rabbit's Christmas" dates back to 1939! But, as I recall, Little Grey Rabbit and her companions have none of the mystical ceremony of Seuss or Wallace, only a rich version of country traditions and gift-giving.)
When the other woodland folk go back to their homes, Pookie stays outside, determined to meet Santa Claus.
And (PLOT SPOILER!) he does.
But this is a disillusioned Santa Claus. He feels that no one believes in him. The good deeds of secret Christmas-time gift-giving, that his great-great-great-...-grandfather had started for poor people, are, this current Santa Claus feels, no longer needed. And NO ONE BELIEVES!
Happily, Pookie certainly believes in what he has actually seen.
In fact Santa Claus takes Pookie back to his own secret wood, where Pookie sees the goblins who make the secret Christmas presents and cook the Christmas toffee
Just as happily, Santa offers to take Pookie and twenty-six (why that number?) of his best friends back to his secret wood for a Christmas Night banquet.
Happily, heartened by Pookie's faithfulness, Santa Claus resolves to continue.
Just as happily, Santa Claus also has a young son who will keep the tradition.
Early in the wee hours of Boxing Day, Pookie falls asleep, saying, "There'll always be a Santa Claus!"
That IS the right ending to this kind of what's-it-all-about book.
For young children who are on the verge of starting to disbelieve in Santa Claus this is, indeed, ALMOST the perfect book.
Unfortunately, Ivy Wallace has given a portrait of Santa Claus who does not quite fit the standard Santa Claus tradition that most children are raised to believe.
Her Santa does not live at the North Pole, and does not have elves.
Wallace's Santa Claus lives in a wood, or deep forest, and his helpers are goblins.
He does, fortunately, wear the traditional (the tradition, apparently, established by Coca Cola advertising posters from the 1930s?) red suit with white fur trim.
He does have a sleigh of reindeer that flies (or perhaps it only glides over the snow).
But, CONTRARY to modern tradition, Wallace's Santa Claus gives presents, secretly, ONLY to children and others (adults, animals, fairy-folk) who were too poor, or too alone, to give to other people, or to receive presents themselves from other people.
This helps Pookie realise WHY so few people now believe in Santa Claus: most people have enough money or other means, and enough social contacts to do all the Christmas giving and receiving without any need for a separate real secret Santa Claus. In fact, many dress up to pretend to be the "real" Santa Claus.
Obviously, as Pookie now understands, this means that the remaining role for the real Santa Claus is to continue to fill the gaps of the poor and lonely.
(But this is NOT what most very young children are told about Santa Claus, is it?)
-- "And when people and children open their presents on Christmas morning they KNOW who all their presents are from and thank each other, and then say, "Look what Santa Claus brought me!' And the joke is I've never taken them anything yet, Pookie, because they all have plenty of friends and relations to give them presents!"
(If only we could be confident that the poor and lonely DO get secret presents from the REAL Santa!)
Happily, the TRUE meaning of Christmas is at least hinted at in this story.
(Seuss's story of the Grinch offers no account at all of the birth of Jesus. For Seuss, probably understandably, as a liberal Jew writing for a mainstream Christian-minded audience, Christmas IS special, but it amounts to not much more than the specialness of a traditional family-and-community get-together like Thanksgiving.)
While Wallace's Santa Claus describes his "very kind" ancestor, the original Saint Nicholas (with no mention of the religious meaning of the titular word "saint"), this current Santa Claus says, mysteriously:
-- "... my [ancestor] ...when Christmas-time came around ... liked to see every one happy. It is too big a thing to explain to a small Rabbit, but Humans have the most wonderful reason in the world for remembering Christmas Day".
Pookie says that Belinda has told him about this, and mentions the woodland folk's "Great Thank You", and adds, "It is almost too big and wonderful for small Animal's brains to understand, but we know we're alive in a beautiful World, and we feel we MUST say 'Thank You!'".
In short, "Pookie Believes in Santa Claus" comes close to providing a happy, plausible story that reinforces the might-be-doubting child's innocent belief in Santa Claus, or Father Christmas ("Same person!", says this Santa Claus -- of course!), while nudging the child to remember the real story of the Nativity.
(However what THAT itself -- the Nativity -- REALLY means is, indeed, almost "too big a thing to explain". Any explanation would need to resort to recounting the story of Adam and Eve's temptation and Fall, and the redemption of Christ's sacrifice at Calgary on Good Friday. And then we need to add in something about "the Son of God". Maybe Seuss is right to emphasise the mere sociable celebrating, and leave theology for older children and adult study. Maybe Raymond Brigg's grumpy old "Father Christmas" is at least as convincing an account of the "REAL" Santa Claus, with NO Christian trappings whatsoever, just a home at the North Pole, flying reindeer, and secret presents.)
Not so happily, Wallace gives poorly chosen names to some of Santa's woodland helper-goblins: there is Mimp who makes doll's house tea sets on a miniature potter's wheel, Delp who paints the tea sets, and Gink who bakes them: and distressingly there is Plop, the plump cook who makes Christmas toffee. (For many young children "plop" is a rude word that euphemises dung).
As with all the "Pookie" books the illustrations are full of delightful tiny detail of animals, their clothes and food and houses, and their woodland lives.
(Needless to say, these are mainly mammals, and some species of birds, plus assorted creatures of magic fairyland fantasy. No predators. Even the owls seem not to prey on mice or other small animals: and there are no foxes, unless they are vegetarian. But this IS a children's book.)
John Gough -- Deakin University -- email@example.com
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering "Pookie.",
I do remember, as a small child, reading the original tales of "Pookie". These books are reprinted for new readers of today. The art of old is printed for all to enjoy.
"Pookie" is the star, and his cute face and ears are special.The lovingly written stories, colourful pictures and cuddly faces are sheer joy!
The books take us back to a time of whimsy, belief and utter beauty.
What a treat to walk down " memory lane" in the innocent old days, far from today!
"Pookie" - little white rabbit with wings..wonderful..
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I never forgot,
I received this book one Christmas when I was about three and I think it was one of my favourite presents, certainly my
favourite story. I never forgot Pookie and although I asked in Book Stores was never able to acquire a copy. Then several
years ago my son got me a copy from Amazon and unlike many memories, the magic was still there. I loved it then and I do now. I think every child should read this beautiful story. I now have a little granddaughter and can't wait to tell her this enchanting
5.0 out of 5 stars MEMORIES,
IN THE 1960'S POOKIE WAS AN ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE CHARACTER WITH MY DAUGHTER. WE MOVED AROUND SO MUCH ALL HER CHILDHOOD MEMORIES GOT MISLAID OR LOST MUCH TO HER REGRET. IMAGINE MY DELIGHT WHEN THIS BOOK SURFACED. MARIA IS A GRANDMOTHER NOW, SO IT WILL COME IN USEFUL TO CREATE MEMORIES FOR A WHOLE NEW GENERATION. BLESS YOU POOKIE.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book!,
I bought this as a birthday present for my mother who always loved Pookie when she was little, but only had about two of the books -- I can't wait to give it to her, as I know she'll be thrilled!
5.0 out of 5 stars pookie book,
my good lady remembers this book from a child so i just brought it as a little back up and she loved it
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Pookie Believes in Santa Claus by Ivy Wallace (Paperback - 5 Nov. 2001)
Used & New from: £4.79