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Secrets of a Christmas Box

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  41 ratings  ·  30 reviews
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 an
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Ecky Thump Books, Inc
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  41 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-sent-to-me
The Short of It:

Although the point of the book was to capture the magic of Christmas, I do not feel that this was achieved. In my opinion, the story was a bit on the dark side which surprised me a bit.

The Rest of It:

As I was reading the book, the first thing that I noticed was that the dialogue seemed a bit forced. The first couple of chapters were 'He said / She said' type conversations and although the words spoken seemed natural enough, the phrasing seemed
Sandra Stiles
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's sad that I didn't get this read until last weekend. A great Christmas story that I want to re-read each Christmas. for those of us who are adults and try to keep our imaginations well timed this book is a treat. Every night after the humans go to sleep the Christmas tree ornaments come alive. The book opens with the tree dwellers greeting each other and talking about their new home or where they are on the branches. Larry the snowman goes about looking for his brother Terrance. Unable to fi ...more
Becky R.
Sep 06, 2009 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this hearty little tale of Christmas, and the heart-stopping adventure of a small group of Christmas ornaments out to find their friend and brother (who didn't make it to the tree). However, I did feel that the writing resembled a script, more than a story. Some of the jarring issues in writing slowly worked out somewhat by the middle of the book, and I thought the story itself was a cute idea.

I actually think that this would make a fabulous children's story, marketed to
Sherry Scheline
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It captures the magic of Christmas. It is a great family read. We read it in the evenings as a family and it was magical. It is a beautiful story of the ornaments in the tree coming to life. I read the other reviews after I read the book and I think for us because we were using our own character voices and reading it as a family it made a difference. We also read sitting in front of the Christmas tree.
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Christmas means a lot of things to many different people. There is an undeniable spirit in the air, the gatherings with close family and friends, and the traditions we repeat year after year. One of those traditions is the decorating of the Christmas tree. After reading this book, you will never look at decorating the Christmas tree in the same way again.

In most families each ornament has a special meaning; baby’s first Christmas, the ornaments received as wedding gifts, the ornaments made by t
Feb 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm going to be up front with you and tell you in no uncertain terms that their is no way for me to get across how much I loved this book. I haven't raved about a book in a while and I'm so glad I get to know. As a life long Christmas lover who has always had a rather overactive imagination to find a book that lets me revel in one of my oldest Christmas fantasies is a treat. As a kid I would sit by the Christmas tree making up stories and names to go along with the ornaments that hung upon it's ...more
Dec 18, 2010 rated it liked it
If you've ever wondered what happens on the Christmas tree when the family goes to sleep, this is the book for you! I also learned how my packages get those little rips in them just from sitting under the tree. It's a great way to start the holiday season reading one chapter a day right up until Christmas Day! At 25 short chapters, I envision families sitting around a fire next to the tree reading this festive story about Larry, Debbie, and Splint.

Larry is a snowman ornament who carries a tree
Oct 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
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 up ...more
Steph Su
Aug 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX is another of those books that is difficult to market. At around 200 pages full of mostly text, it’s too advanced for a toddler or early elementary school kid which is probably the ideal audience for this story. The occasional small illustration will not satisfy the young audience’s desire for literary participation. And the infantilizing tone of the book will turn away older readers.

Perhaps the best thing one can do with this book is to have it as a holida
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is organized into 24 chapters. The intention being to read one chapter a night, beginning on December 1st and ending on Christmas Eve. The chapters are not very long, so it should be an easy task. I can see this becoming a tradition at our house once my daughter is old enough to understand the story.

I really enjoyed the world of the "Tree Dwellers". Steven Hornby has created a delightfully interesting world inhabited by Christmas tree ornaments. They use the pine needles fr
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
I started this book on December 1st and have been reading one chapter a night, intending to finish up on December 24th. I actually ended up having to finish the last two chapters on the 22nd. Holiday travel was going to interrupt my schedule.

This was a cute Christmas story. I don't think I will ever look at tree lights and ornaments the same again. I will say it had more violence in it than I was expecting and some scary moments. I would be okay with older children reading it. I'm no
Apr 21, 2012 rated it liked it
It's Christmas and the tree is up and decorated. But once the family goes to sleep, something magical happens. The ornaments all wake up and welcome each other after a year sleeping in the Christmas Box. They promenade around the tree, greeting old friends and welcoming new ones.

Larry the Snowman and his girlfriend, Debbie, a reindeer, are two of the mainstays in the ornament family. This year, a wooden toy soldier named Splint is a newcomer, talking to Larry and Debbie to determine
Sep 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This magical book takes us on a journey with the Tree Dwellers Larry, the glass snowman, Debbie his part reindeer girlfriend and Splint the soldier and new guy on the tree. Larry finds that his brother is missing when the tree dwellers awake from their long sleep in the box. Although all the tree dwellers know that sometimes an ornament doesn't make it back to the tree the next year, Larry just cannot accept his brothers is lost forever. He has to come up with a way to find him.

Dec 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was an enjoyable read and would certainly make a good read aloud for a family with young children or for an elementary school class. The premise, beloved Christmas ornaments (tree dwellers) coming to life each Christmas once the humans have gone to sleep reminded me of Ann Martin's Doll People series. A lovable snowman, Larry, his girlfriend - Debbie and a new tree dweller, Splint (a wooden toy soldier) go on a adventure to find Larry's brother Terrence, who did not make it back to the tree ...more
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
Steven Hornby has written a delightful story in Secrets of a Christmas Box. Larry, a large snowman ornament, seems to have lost his brother Terrence and is looking for him everywhere. With the help of Debbie, the girl reindeer; and Splint, newest ornament on the tree ;who is a wooden figurine, they look all over the tree for Terrence but he is nowhere to be found.

Dare they leave the tree into the world of humans? It is strictly forbidden by the Tree-Lord for any ornament to go down t
Jun 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
After a waking from their annual sleep, the "tree dwellers" quickly discover that something is not exactly right this Christmas season: one of them is missing. Larry, a snowman, is devastated that his brother is not where he is suppose to be. Along with the help of his friends, Larry partakes in the ultimate adventure to discover the truth behind his brother's disappearance and the true meaning behind the Christmas Box.

Secrets of a Christmas Box is one of those feel good, gather ever
Christy Lockstein
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Secrets of a Christmas Box by Steven Hornby is a perfect read aloud story for families. The tree-dwellers wake up each year after being placed on the Christmas tree and circle the branches looking for old friends and meeting new ones. Larry the snowman and Debbie the reindeer girl are thrilled to see each other again but devastated to find that Larry's brother is missing. Along with newcomer Splint, a wooden soldier, they break the rules of the Elder and leave the tree to find their sleeping pla ...more
Nov 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to reading this book and I have to admit that I was disappointed. Hornby has a wonderful premise. The cherished Christmas tree ornaments come to life every year when they are unpacked and put on the tree. The story follows the adventure of a snowman ornament as he, along with his friends, searches for his missing brother. The book lacked the whimsy to make it truly successful and it was surprisingly dark.

*Spoiler alert* I think this book would have been m
Nov 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I read that Steven Hornby had initially planned "Secrets of a Christmas Box" as a screenplay, it made perfect sense. It would make a wonderful seasonal film, and as it reads it can surely become a Christmas classic. There is just the right amount of make-believe and adventure with Larry, Debbie, Tinsel and Splint. Secrets of a Christmas Box is a story of love, friendship, family, loyalty and courage. It is sure to be loved by children and grown ups alike.

Publisher: Ecky Thump Bo
Ronald Roseborough
Oct 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a very enjoyable story of a group of ornaments, the tree dwellers, who secretly come to life each Christmas when removed from the Christmas Box and placed on the tree. The main characters are Larry, a lovable snowman, Debbie, his beautiful reindeer girlfriend, and Splint, the new ornament, who is a wooden toy soldier. The characters are quite charming and the reader is quickly drawn into the search for Larry's brother who is missing from the tree. The search leads the main characters awa ...more
Carol Evans
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is a magical read for December. Amber (9) and I read this together and both enjoyed it. To use Amber’s words, “Larry and Splint rock! It’s awesome.” It was a fun read, with lots of adventure for the pint-sized heroes and Amber definitely did not see the twist coming at the end. I did, but that’s partly because I had to peek ahead, just to make sure that all three were safe.

This will definitely be one we read again next year. I can see reading it out loud to younger kids, to
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought it would be this kind-hearted adventure that my 8 year old daughter and I could share. I got a somewhat scary, very sad tale that was only a Christmas tale due to it revolving around Christmas tree ornaments. I would not recommend this to anyone who wants to read this as a heart-warming Christmas tale with their children. There was a lot of unnecessary extra and this book could have been about half the length. Not a re-read for us. One of the reviews inside the book said they would rea ...more
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who loves Christmas!
Recommended to Gofita by: Katrina
Shelves: children, 2009-read
This was a fun and cute Christmas story. Ornaments on a Christmas trees come to life each year...Larry the snowman can't find his brother Terrence this year and decides to find him beyond the tree's border with the help of his two friends Debbie and Splint. It did take on a bit of a dark turn towards the end, but I think you can use this as a good learning opportunity for kids. I'm going to enjoy reading this one to my son as he gets older each year for Christmas! The book also has many drawings ...more
Jan 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to melissa1lbr by:
I really had a hard time with this book. The writing was very choppy and the dialog between the characters odd and too cliche. The plot was mildly interesting, but the ellipses used throughout at the most random times became very distracting. I hope never to pick this one up again. Full review at One Librarian's Book Reviews. Review copy provided by publisher.
Sep 15, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: parents; kids
Recommended to Chris by: steven hornby
this vastly enjoyable tale is a perfect bed-time read for the kids. following the adventures of the characters as they went on their journey was a pleasure. the pages turned easily, and i found myself rooting for them more and more as the plot unfolded. this book manages to combine light-hearted enjoyability with an engaging tension that kept me involved until the very end. and, it passes the ultimate litmus test: i would, and will, read it to my niece.

highly recommended!
Morninglight Mama
Jan 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, education
This middle-grade novel creates a world inhabited by the Christmas tree ornaments of a family, and the story opens with our protagonists searching for one of their own who seems 'not to have made it back' to the tree this year. The adventures that follow are just the right fit for the older elementary school audience. With suspenseful and surprising moments, this makes for a great read during the holidays.
Jan 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Very cute and fun read about what happens on the Christmas Tree once the humans go to bed. It's set up to be read a chapter a night during the Christmas season, although I read it totally through. It's not appropriate for younger children as there is a little more violence in it than I expected, but still a fun read.

Watch out for those tree-dwellers!
Feb 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely fabulous! I couldn't put it down. This book can be for any age, and very well kid appropriate. So suspenseful too. If you like good suspense this is the book for you!!!
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Book Trailer 1 7 Aug 26, 2009 04:44PM