Holiday Island: Santa in a Bathing Suit?
D. Crowley-Ranelli
Eloquent Books (2009)
ISBN 9781608602681
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 11) for Reader Views (11/09)


“HolidayIsland: Santa in a Bathing Suit?” by D. Crowley-Ranelli is a story about thirteen-year-old Steve and his nine-year-old sister Brittany, both of whom were very spoiled.  When a family problem arises, Brittany and Steve are sent to live with their grandmother on a remote Caribbean island.  Without the conveniences of their normal life, they are very upset.  How will they ever survive their new life on HolidayIsland?  When Steve sees Santa running around the beach in a furry bikini and Frosty the snowman jet skiing, will he learn what really matters in life?

This book was narrated by Steve, and many of the thoughts were as disjointed as you might expect coming from a thirteen-year-old boy’s mouth.  I found that sometimes I had to go back and reread sentences and paragraphs to get the full meaning.  This book is intended to be a whimsical tale with a moral.  Although the moral is a good one, the author is a little heavy on the whimsy.

I hesitate to recommend “HolidayIsland: Santa in a Bathing Suit?” by D. Crowley-Ranelli.  I think the author intended this book as a coming-of-age book for tweens and teens, but this fifty-three page book didn’t have the time to develop the characters and get the meaning across.  The whimsical characters like Santa might appeal to a younger audience, but the storyline isn’t exactly age appropriate and there are no illustrations to draw them in.

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