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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Cocoa Mistletoe: A Christmas Story Celebrating the Gift of Giving by Ciara L. Hill is a sweet Christmas story with a message that works at any time of the year. Cocoa Mistletoe is a little girl who loves Christmas and looks forward to spreading joy every year with special treats and presents. She delivers cookies to her teachers and picks out gifts for her friends that fulfill their Christmas wishes. Despite the happiness her gifts bring, she can’t help feeling as if something is missing. That’s when Cocoa Mistletoe devises a plan to do something different. She gets out her crayons, ribbons, and other craft supplies and decides that instead of using magic, she will create handmade gifts to show everyone how much they mean to her.
You will immediately be captivated by the world that comes to life through gorgeous illustrations by Natalia Scabuso. These images are bright and cheery with details and soft colors that create a sense of wonder and capture the imagination. The assortment of colors is breathtaking, perfectly balancing whimsy, charm, and the joy of Christmastime. The story is sweet with a positive message that fits throughout the year and is not just for Christmas. Cocoa is a joyful character that loves spreading happiness and cheer to all those around her by delivering presents with the help of her magical reindeer, Mr. McJingles. Her vibrant personality is infectious and will instantly raise your spirits.
The world that Ciara L. Hill has created is rooted in magic and wonder, reflecting the story of Santa Claus while offering something new. Cocoa is a character that will appeal to children for they’ll be able to see themselves in her and be inspired by her to put love and companionship into the holidays. This story redefines the holiday spirit and the message within the story is one that adults and children can both benefit from - that the best gifts of all come from the heart and holidays are about being together. Cocoa Mistletoe embraces the simple joys of the holidays with a character that embodies the true spirit of Christmas and a breathtaking wonderland captured through stunning illustrations.