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Queen of Christmas: Ann Estelle Paper Doll inside!    by Mary Engelbreit order for
Queen of Christmas
by Mary Engelbreit
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2006 (2003)
Hardcover, Softcover

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I like strong-willed little girls and the fact that Ann Estelle is one of them shows in her posture, the expression on her face, and the long List that this 'Queen of Christmas' is writing. She started it right after last year's holiday, and it includes 'every single solitary item she had ever wanted or could even imagine wanting at some later date.'

In the days leading up to Christmas we see Ann Estelle busy with holiday preparations - baking cookies with her mother, sledding with Dad, ice skating with her grandmother, building a snowman, caroling with the neighbors, decorating the tree with friends - and always adding to The List. Then comes Christmas Eve when The List must be left next to Santa's milk and cookies. Will Ann Estelle be disappointed?

After a perfect day feasting with family and watching old movies, it turns out that it's the activities that mattered to this little girl, who wisely informs her dad that 'it's not just the presents that matter. Don't you know that?' Queen of Christmas is a lovely book, with a strong young heroine (an Ann Estelle paper doll is included) and a sound message about what's important in the holidays.

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