Buffalo Nickel Christmas by author Larry Enright Reviewed by Fran Lewis
The holidays are when we spend time with our family so why did Harry Ryan decide to stay at school and miss his family gathering? Schoolwork piled up, too much to do Harry decided to stay at Kenyon College and spend Christmas alone. Author Larry Enright reminds the reader about this young man, his family and his life way before college started and all the Christmases past before bringing the reader back to the present.
Harry Ryan was quite a character and enjoyed spending time with his sisters and brothers. The author reflects back to his early life and Christmases as he recounts the events he had with his family that bring to life the fun he had growing up making snow angels, looking out of his window at the campus covered with snow and remembering his life growing up. The snow reminding him of vanilla icing and the world's chocolate cake. Take the trip along with Harry and this reviewer to a magical world filled with so many different things you will wish you were there too.
Christmas is not just for getting presents or giving them. Family is what is important. The Ryan children love going through the Sears Catalog and choosing their special gift for the holiday. What makes this event so special for the reader is that they do it as a family, discuss their choices and hope Santa will honor their wishes remembering that he is always watching them so they better be good! When the weather bureau reports that a huge Monster storm is about to approach you can hear the cheers miles away of every kid in town. The schools close early for the holiday, parents stay home from work and great things can happen in just one day. Of course in this story by Larry Enright more than just great things happen, magical and exciting things happen when the Ryan children go to their favorite store to find that one special present they might want. Enter Noble's Department store and remember you just might find more than you are looking for by the time you leave.
Riding up the escalator trying to find the toy department the Ryan children encounter someone they think is Santa. Within seconds of Santa's exit a strange man appears and things begin to change for them. Let me introduce Professor Rumpledumpling Special Investigator Santa W. Claus Enterprises Inc investigating whether this store Santa is the real deal. Entranced by this man and fascinated by his odd appearance the Ryan children decide to become deputized Santa's helpers to help him find out the truth. Gold dust and all and a special present for their mom they follow him up the escalator hoping to learn the truth and their adventure begins. But, then something happens and Harry, our narrator becomes lost from the group and winds up somewhere else. Disoriented, afraid and not sure what to do next he runs smack into someone he names the Old Crone and another strange lady dressed in pink calling herself Lady Blue. Poor Lady Blue has been locked away in this room or tunnel for so long she lost sight of reality and the real world. Trying to find their way out of the tunnel they meet another strange character The Mole. Talking to him he learns his name was Brownie or it used to be Brownie and he joins the group trying to find their way out. Learning how to help others, kindness and understanding are definite lessons Harry is teaching the reader and any young child that really wants to learn the true meaning of the holidays. Caring for three odd figures or strangers, helping them adjust to change Harry Ryan proves that kids can really come to the rescue when necessary and one lost boy just might find more than his way home at the end.
So, what would you do if the world got stuck on Christmas Eve and there was no more Christmas or shall I have 16 Forevers and no Christmas? How would you handle it? The poor mole has not seen daylight in forever and one of the characters is afraid to say the word Christmas itself. Lady Blue, Lady Book, The Mole and many others are trying to fix this problem when Harry learns more. What if everything was backwards and the world as they know a King ruled it named Xarm who put the Professor in a dungeon. Learning who was or is behind the problem will definitely surprise the reader and Harry learns about this place where everything is backwards, where Santa is not the real Santa they remember and the word Christmas is not said.
But, Harry learns more than he bargained for as he, Lady Blue, Lady Book and his new friend the Mole go in search of way out of the Tunnel to find the elusive Professor but not before Harry learns the truth about this place and the fact that no one laughs, smiles or even has any fun. As Harry and his friends go in search of answers they wind up meeting some unusual soldiers who put them in a dungeon stating they are trespassing and now have to spend 16 Forevers there. Low and behold guess who shows up? Yes: The one and only Professor Rumpledumpling who forgot to tell Harry that the only way to avoid what happened to him is to enter Christmas Village backwards or the magic gets all mixed up and everything is not what it really seems. Could Santa really be behind this? What is the true meaning of what author Larry Enright wants to tell kids and the reader?
Harry and his friends wind up in front of this King and find out just how conned this poor King is by those he thinks he can trust. So, what really happened to Christmas and where is Santa? What will happen to all of the letters that Santa never received from the children who wrote to him? Wait and see what happens next and just how mean this King and his wizard can be to Lady Blue and Lady Book plus the elves. The elves and slaves are fighting and the war is on and what happens you won't believe. What happens when Harry and the rest come face to face with another King named Rayn and the truth behind Christmas just might be told. What is this King's plan and why does he want the future to not be like the past?
What happens when the Buffalo Nickel or as they call it the Elfin Fobaluck touches Harry? Christmas is special and just who is the real Santa? What is Harry's role in saving Christmas and what does the touch of the coin help everyone remember about the true meaning of the holiday? Santa made me promise not to tell so you are going to have to read it for yourself to understand the true meaning of every special holiday and much more. Everyone needs to learn this for themselves both adults and kids alike. So, what was the Wizard's motive and will the King realize what he really wants and why Harry is in his way? What does he want that would destroy Christmas forever? What is the magic of the Elfin Fobaluck?
What does happen will definitely make you wonder what is real and what is just plain magical? What does Harry save and what lessons does he learn as a result of his experience or was it all a dream? One Buffalo Nickel: Would it save a toy factory? This is one story that will let you know that wishes are truly powerful and an ending that will definitely make you smile. One adult/child named Harry Ryan who will take you back in time and remember the true mean of Christmas is not the presents it is what is in your heart. The rest: You have to read for yourself.
Love, kindness, friendship, loyalty, a touch of magic and just plain holiday fun once again author Larry Enright brings a story to both adults and children that will renew their faith in miracles.
Fran Lewis: reviewer This story gets: FIVE SHINY SILVER BUFFALO NICKELS