Berkeley Breathed's father told him a story of Christmas 1939, and this book is that (tall) story. In 1939, his young father was a great fan of Buck Tweed, the Red Ranger, protector of the 23rd century, and was known himself as the Red Ranger. For Christmas he wanted an official Buck Tweed Two-Speed Crime-Stopper Star-Hopper bicycle. But, it was the Depression, and such a gift was not likely to come. Hearing that Santa Claus had retired nearby, the Red Ranger set off to confront him, complete with death-ray/dart gun and red-stained pajama top. This is the story of that confrontation. The story of this book is absolutely hilarious! (My son and I laughed mightily when the Red Ranger panicked and shot Santa in the forehead with his dart gun.) Also, the illustrations are masterfully done, and are at least as funny as the story itself. My seven-year-old son loved reading this book, which was perfectly written for one of his reading ability. As a matter of fact, the last picture has him wondering about the truth of this fantastic yarn! Though this book might seem to have the lesson that one should believe in Santa Claus, its true lesson is one of caring about others and their feelings. This is a great book, and one that should be given to all families.
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This book manages to capture the magic of believing in Santa Claus all over again! Like Miracle on 34th Street, The Polar Express, and other classic Christmas tales, the Red Ranger is a wonderful story that is for children and adults alike! The drawings are expressive and one lingers over them, even though anxious to continue reading the story! This book belongs in the classic Christmas canon. Happy reading!