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Reviewed by Debjeet Mukherjee for Readers' Favorite
The Best Present I Ever Had by William F. Polden Sr. is a children’s adventure that takes you on a magical journey during Christmas. Brenda Sue is surprised to find a unicorn named Pegasus standing in her backyard one fine day. Surprisingly, he brings news from Santa. After convincing her mom, Brenda rides on Pegasus to the North Pole so that she can help Santa in delivering presents. Entrusted with delivering five presents from Santa, Brenda soon realizes the difficulty of fulfilling wishes for the less fortunate children as she makes a tough choice while delivering the last gift. However, her parents and younger brother all lend their support as Brenda awaits the repercussions of her decisive action.
William F. Polden Sr. has created a fairy tale full of magic and charismatic characters. Children would love to enter this world covered in snow. The introduction of unicorns, elves, reindeers, and most importantly our beloved Santa Claus creates a mystical aura in a universe where anything is possible. I must appreciate the detailing in the plot which highlights not only Brenda’s adventures but also introduces mythical creatures from Greek mythology and tales from other worlds detailing the history of Santa’s bag. The Best Present I Ever Had restores faith in miracles and reminds me of the importance of family. The plot reiterates the victory of heart over logic under circumstances where warmth, compassion, and togetherness bring out the best in humans. I feel that in some way the author has inspired innocence in children and the great feats they can achieve with a pure heart.