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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure is an adventure picture book for children written by John Arvai III and illustrated by Eminence System. Most people think that Christmas ornaments are just there for decoration purposes, but they're really much more than just decorations. Those heroes on hooks actually make sure the tree lights are working properly, guard the cookies and milk from the family dog, and keep the fireplace in good shape so Santa can visit your house. Then there's the star that goes on top of the tree. This is an especially important ornament as it guides Santa to your house by sending out a golden glow that Santa can see from his sleigh. But what would happen if that star wasn't on top of your tree? What if your cat knocked it off the tree, and it tumbled out of reach? Something very much like that happened at the Thompson house when they were hosting their Christmas party. No one noticed that the star had ended up in a gift bag, and no one saw Aunt Connie leaving with it. Or did they?
John Arvai's adventure picture book for children, Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure, follows the front and back side ornaments of the Thompson family's Christmas tree as they try to save Christmas for their family. This is an exciting story complete with conflicts, impossible situations, and a deadline that looms ever closer. Arvai's ornament characters are marvelous! He endows each one of them with a personality and his/her own role in this action-packed holiday tale. The illustrations provided by Eminence System are brilliantly colored and add depth and dimension to the plot. I found myself getting lost in each panel as I delightedly found every detail and action described in the story. Children of all ages, including those adults who volunteer for story time rather than have to sit and chat with the grownups, will thrill to this most unusual Christmas tale that actually gets better with each successive reading. Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure is most highly recommended.