Secrets of a Christmas Box

Last updated Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Author: Steven Hornby
Illustrator: Gabriel Hordos and Justin Gerard
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0981588301
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2009

Synopsis: Enter the magical festive world of the Christmas 'Tree-Dwellers', as Larry, a Christmas snowman, wakes up after the long sleep in the Christmas box, to find his brother is missing. Desperate to find him before Christmas, Larry, along with his girlfriend Debbie, a newcomer Splint, and Larry's companion Tinsel, break the laws of the 'Tree-Elders' and escape down the tree and away into the house, to look for clues. Away from the safety of the tree and in an unfamiliar world, the Dwellers stumble upon a dark and sinister secret that threatens their entire world. Can Larry and the group make it back to the tree in time to warn the others, and finally uncover the truth behind the 'Secrets of a Christmas Box'?

Note to readers:
•  Start at page 6 of book and then read the rest of chapter 1. Skip chapter 2 and read chapters 3 and 4.
•  During Chapter 1: How do you decorate for the holidays? What do you think is inside the box? (pg. 6) Do you have any siblings? How well do you get along?
•  During Chapter 2: Where do you look for your Christmas gifts? What do you eat for the holidays? Who is not going to have a peaceful night sleep?
•  During Chapter 3: Where do you think Terrence is?
•  During Chapter 4: What do you think the tree lord is?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is on the cover?
•  Who/What/where are they?
•  Why do you think there are 24 chapters in this book?
•  Mention the author is British

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Vocabulary: Illuminating Dormant Scurry Fragile Elaborate(ly) Half price Delve Astonishment Nostalgically Hectic Anticipation Transfixed Flippin’

Craft ideas:
•  Make Christmas ornaments out of construction paper, poke a hole and use pipe cleaner or string to hang.
•  Make Christmas Cards

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!