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The Legend of the Christmas Witch

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From Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and creative partner Dan Murphy comes the long lost tale of the Christmas Witch, Santa Claus's much misunderstood twin sister. Gather 'round the fire to hear a Christmas legend that has never been told before...until now. Each year a mysterious figure sweeps into town, leaving behind strange gifts in the night. No, not Santa Claus From Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and creative partner Dan Murphy comes the long lost tale of the Christmas Witch, Santa Claus's much misunderstood twin sister. Gather 'round the fire to hear a Christmas legend that has never been told before...until now. Each year a mysterious figure sweeps into town, leaving behind strange gifts in the night. No, not Santa Claus, but his sister... The Christmas Witch. Her story begins many, many years ago when her brother was torn away from her as a child. Raised alone by a witch of the woods, Kristtōrn's powers of magic grew, as did her temper. Determined to find her long lost twin, she set out on a perilous journey across oceans to find him. But what she found instead was a deep-seated fear of her powers and a confrontation that would leave the fate of Christmas hanging in the balance. From award-winning producer and actress Aubrey Plaza and her creative partner Dan Murphy comes a holiday story unlike any told before. With all the richness of classic folklore, they've woven a tale of bravery, love and magic. Whatever you thought you knew about Christmas...think again.


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From Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and creative partner Dan Murphy comes the long lost tale of the Christmas Witch, Santa Claus's much misunderstood twin sister. Gather 'round the fire to hear a Christmas legend that has never been told before...until now. Each year a mysterious figure sweeps into town, leaving behind strange gifts in the night. No, not Santa Claus From Parks and Recreation star Aubrey Plaza and creative partner Dan Murphy comes the long lost tale of the Christmas Witch, Santa Claus's much misunderstood twin sister. Gather 'round the fire to hear a Christmas legend that has never been told before...until now. Each year a mysterious figure sweeps into town, leaving behind strange gifts in the night. No, not Santa Claus, but his sister... The Christmas Witch. Her story begins many, many years ago when her brother was torn away from her as a child. Raised alone by a witch of the woods, Kristtōrn's powers of magic grew, as did her temper. Determined to find her long lost twin, she set out on a perilous journey across oceans to find him. But what she found instead was a deep-seated fear of her powers and a confrontation that would leave the fate of Christmas hanging in the balance. From award-winning producer and actress Aubrey Plaza and her creative partner Dan Murphy comes a holiday story unlike any told before. With all the richness of classic folklore, they've woven a tale of bravery, love and magic. Whatever you thought you knew about Christmas...think again.

30 review for The Legend of the Christmas Witch

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I'm going to need an animated movie of the Christmas Witch, and then a sequel, The Rise of the Christmas Witch. And I hope she goes for Santa himself first. He's been naughty and not so nice. I'm going to need an animated movie of the Christmas Witch, and then a sequel, The Rise of the Christmas Witch. And I hope she goes for Santa himself first. He's been naughty and not so nice.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Miya

    Loved it! The illustrations are gorgeous! The earthy nature loving witchy vibe is amazing. There is so much to this story if you pay attention. I would say this might not be for those who like super super traditional Christmas stories. I just loved it though. Definitely keeping my fingers crossed that Aubrey Plaza does a film for this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This was under an hour in audio, the long forgotten tale of Kris Kringle's sister, known as the Christmas Witch. Written by and read by Aubrey Plaza. This was under an hour in audio, the long forgotten tale of Kris Kringle's sister, known as the Christmas Witch. Written by and read by Aubrey Plaza.

  4. 5 out of 5

    tay (taylor reads)

    not what i was expecting but i really enjoyed! the audiobook for this 🙌🏼🙌🏼 top tier. so wintery i wish i had read it last month😭

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    Highly unusual! I loved it, and I wanted it to be a novel. (With illustrations!) (Maybe a graphic novel?) There were too many words on each page for it to work as a read aloud, and the story honestly begged for more, more descriptions, more magic, more to the story! But it was still very, very cool and a great addition to the Christmas book collection at Chez Georges.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Davis

    This to me is dark folklore. It isn't a fantasy fairytale that you tell to you kids on Christmas Eve if you want them to be filled with happiness and magic. This book is... unusual. Kriss Kringle has a twin sister, Kristtōrn, and honestly, he's a jerk to her.. definitely not the jolly man we've grown to know. She continued to have negative experiences which influences the way her powers manifest and how the world viewed her. She was strong, dedicated, and loyal... and as the synopsis says, she's This to me is dark folklore. It isn't a fantasy fairytale that you tell to you kids on Christmas Eve if you want them to be filled with happiness and magic. This book is... unusual. Kriss Kringle has a twin sister, Kristtōrn, and honestly, he's a jerk to her.. definitely not the jolly man we've grown to know. She continued to have negative experiences which influences the way her powers manifest and how the world viewed her. She was strong, dedicated, and loyal... and as the synopsis says, she's misunderstood. I read this via PenguinAudio in exchange for an honest review. I really enjoyed Aubrey Plaza's narration, the sound effects, and the pacing. I really want to get the physical copy because I hear the illustrations are gorgeous! Honestly this is definitely a story April Ludgate would write LOL

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    The audiobook for this was fantastic. It was an interesting little story but the way they did the sound effects and narration really set it apart. I want this as a dark adult novel now!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle

    "Like a wondrous phantom who smelled of the sea, she whistled in the darkness a strange melody.." This beautifully told, dark folkloric tale is bewitchingly melodic and while not your typical Christmas tale it is the perfect read for those who love the magically strange! I so hope for a part two to this one! "Like a wondrous phantom who smelled of the sea, she whistled in the darkness a strange melody.." This beautifully told, dark folkloric tale is bewitchingly melodic and while not your typical Christmas tale it is the perfect read for those who love the magically strange! I so hope for a part two to this one!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    When I saw this book at my local B&N, immediately I was drawn in by the beautiful illustrations that were done. Just gorgeous! This is an aesthetically pleasing book that any person would be drawn in by. However, I will be returning it because of the messaging it gives children. The authors did seem to do some research on Paganism and witchcraft and the character for the Christmas Witch is very reminiscing of La Befana, the folkloric Italian witch of Christmas who loved children and gave back dur When I saw this book at my local B&N, immediately I was drawn in by the beautiful illustrations that were done. Just gorgeous! This is an aesthetically pleasing book that any person would be drawn in by. However, I will be returning it because of the messaging it gives children. The authors did seem to do some research on Paganism and witchcraft and the character for the Christmas Witch is very reminiscing of La Befana, the folkloric Italian witch of Christmas who loved children and gave back during the holidays on her journey to give her gift to baby Jesus. However, what I thought looked like a possible merging of holiday traditions between the Pagan Yule and Christianity’s Christmas (both are very historically linked) as I browsed through the pages, I was baffled at the end. The book starts out demonstrating beautiful traditions they both learn from being raised in two different upbringings, yet at the end, Krisstorn (the Christmas Witch) is portrayed as a villain and ends up being forever locked into a block of ice when she clearly wanted to be able to be with her brother and help with her natural talents as well. She was rejected by others, then by him, where the very words by her brother say “you are too different for them to accept. There is no place for you out there. Stay here where you are safe. Someday, I am certain things will change” and leaves her. Both my sister and I read it before considering giving it to my daughter and both concluded a hard “no” because of what it’s teaching. We were just left with an overarching feeling of “what was the point to the story?” and “what is this teaching my child?”. You’ll like this book of course if you like the imagery, if you’re into the old school fairy tale tellings, and if you’re into the hero versus villain thing. If you are actually Pagan and/or actually a witch and have children, I’d HIGHLY suggest finding some other books as this one still perpetuates the nonsensical divisive narrative of spirituality and that we should reject what is different from us. The narrative itself is just getting old.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Aj

    This is a stort of a magical girl with a temper who becomes vilified and the story ends with her frozen in snow after a temper tantrum. I'm sorely dissatisfied and disappointed in a tale that I hoped would incorporate a joyful alternative to Santa but sticks with the trope that witches are tempermental and evil. A terrible way to end a holiday tale. I assume there will be an additional book but the lovely illustrations do not make up for a crappy tale. This is a stort of a magical girl with a temper who becomes vilified and the story ends with her frozen in snow after a temper tantrum. I'm sorely dissatisfied and disappointed in a tale that I hoped would incorporate a joyful alternative to Santa but sticks with the trope that witches are tempermental and evil. A terrible way to end a holiday tale. I assume there will be an additional book but the lovely illustrations do not make up for a crappy tale.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Colleen Earle

    I was given this book as a gift and I positively love it The illustrations and whimsical and dark The story is beautiful (and a bit sad) A delightful book for young and old

  12. 4 out of 5

    Eileen H

    Beautiful illustrations, but a terrible disjointed plot with gaping plot holes and a puzzling non-resolution that left me confused about what I just read. It completely falls flat and doesn’t seem to understand any of the histories or traditions that it’s borrowing from. I’m left wondering what the point of this story was, because I don’t see one.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    This book is very much my aesthetic. I read an e-ARC but will definitely need to get this one in print. 🥰 I was going to give this 4 stars but the art is so good and so cozy that I had to go with 5 in the end.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Milton Public Library

    This is the more, non-traditional Christmas story of the long lost twin sister of Kris Kringle, Kristtorn. The twins are abandoned deep in the forest and cared for by the animals there. As they grow they learn how to communicate with the animals and Mother Earth. As they grow up, Kris is adopted by a family unable to have children and Kristtorn finds a home with the local witch. Each learns different skills that form who they ultimately become! I saw that this book was written by Aubrey Plaza and This is the more, non-traditional Christmas story of the long lost twin sister of Kris Kringle, Kristtorn. The twins are abandoned deep in the forest and cared for by the animals there. As they grow they learn how to communicate with the animals and Mother Earth. As they grow up, Kris is adopted by a family unable to have children and Kristtorn finds a home with the local witch. Each learns different skills that form who they ultimately become! I saw that this book was written by Aubrey Plaza and knew that I had to read it! This book looks like a picture book but it is more just a large book for middle grade students. I found the story to be incredibly creative with an Earthy vibe. It definitely feels like a folk tale, full of magic and transformatins. The illustrations are great and really add to the narrative. This would make a great animated movie! Find it today: https://ent.sharelibraries.info/clien... Ashley C. / Milton Public Library #CheckOutMPL

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shawna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Absolutely obsessed. My son and I listened together on audio but I’m going to buy the physical book as well. It’s now going to be part of our annual holiday books. I love how rich and magical this story is. Read “child friendly version of how witches were treated and pagan Yule was stolen” if this ever does become a movie I volunteer as tribute to play the witch, I will literally do it for free.

  16. 5 out of 5

    FloeticFlo

    This was 4 stars until I didn't like the ending. The audiobook was a delight to listen to, but I think I missed out by not being able to see the artwork. Overall, a nice fun fantasy read for the holiday season. This was 4 stars until I didn't like the ending. The audiobook was a delight to listen to, but I think I missed out by not being able to see the artwork. Overall, a nice fun fantasy read for the holiday season.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Holden Wunders

    Really cute holiday read especially if you not only love Santa Claus but good ol witches! Super easy read for the holiday season and the art was stunning. Will keep in my rotation for years to come

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

       While the tale of Santa Claus - Kristoffer - is well-known throughout the world, the tale of his twin sister Kristtörn is less so. They are both friends of animals and nature and spent their early lives living together in the woods with just friendly animals as company. Until one day, braver Kristoffer approaches a couple in the woods and goes home with them, leaving his sister behind. An old friendly witch finds her and takes her in, and teachers her how to use her magic with the promise th    While the tale of Santa Claus - Kristoffer - is well-known throughout the world, the tale of his twin sister Kristtörn is less so. They are both friends of animals and nature and spent their early lives living together in the woods with just friendly animals as company. Until one day, braver Kristoffer approaches a couple in the woods and goes home with them, leaving his sister behind. An old friendly witch finds her and takes her in, and teachers her how to use her magic with the promise that her destiny is to one day find her twin brother again.    The illustrations by Julia Iredale are absolutely gorgeous, so full of life and color and detail, and really bring out the spirit of nature. The story itself is well written, though take note - it definitely follows in the Grimm tradition, which caught me by surprise especially given how beautifully everything is done, with such deep colors. (view spoiler)[I would even say it could fit well with lessons about one's own feelings about difficult situations/about being attacked or shunned because of mistaken beliefs/misunderstandings and how we deal with those feelings, and even serve as an opening to talk about climate change. I think it might be a bit scary/unsettling for the younger side of the recommended reading age of 5-8, but with adult/older child guidance, it could still work (hide spoiler)] . It's a fairy tale, and while I didn't read it out loud, I'm sure it would make for good reading together around the Christmas tree. Or rather, the Yuletide tree. And even for kids too young to follow the story, they might still enjoy the imagery (especially all the penguins!). Typo: "You must always be careful, when you use magic, to never been seen. - page 18 - "been" should be "be"

  19. 5 out of 5

    Severind Alexander

    I wonder if this comes from a real legend? Or if the author created this one all by herself. Either way, this was a lovely storybook. I may be an adult, but I can't deny myself the simple pleasures of reading a heartwarming children's book. And I needed a good Christmas book to get me into the spirit. This one, I must say, is considerably lighter than the one I read last year. And my writer's heart kept coming up with fantastical ideas of what this story might be like if it were aimed at adults. I wonder if this comes from a real legend? Or if the author created this one all by herself. Either way, this was a lovely storybook. I may be an adult, but I can't deny myself the simple pleasures of reading a heartwarming children's book. And I needed a good Christmas book to get me into the spirit. This one, I must say, is considerably lighter than the one I read last year. And my writer's heart kept coming up with fantastical ideas of what this story might be like if it were aimed at adults...and darker. But this is not a book for adults; it's for children. As such, it's going to be light, whimsical, and beautiful. And I'm absolutely okay with that because truly, I did love it. The illustrations in this book were lovely. They kept me riveted from the start. In fact, that's what made me buy the book to start with. Additionally, the concept sounded so unique. I love witches, I love Christmas, and I love legends. Naturally, this was a match made in heaven. The concept was well done and didn't drag on. The ending took me by surprise and made me yearn for more. While some of the characters were familiar and others were not, they appealed to me for many different reasons. Especially our protagonist, the Christmas Witch. And those penguins were a brilliant touch. Because I kind of have a thing for penguins now. There was a certain earthiness to our witch's powers that intrigued me, and the words the author used were strung together excellently. All in all, I have nothing but good things to say about this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    Did you know Santa had a twin sister? 🤶🏻 When Kristopher and Kristtorn were young children they realized they possessed magic, but with no adults raising them they had to learn how to use it on their own. Until one day a man and woman spot Kristopher in the woods while Kristtorn, the shy sibling, hid. They take him away to raise him as the child they never had. Kristtorn is so sad without her brother and is taken in by a local witch, who raises her until her passing. Years have passed and Kristto Did you know Santa had a twin sister? 🤶🏻 When Kristopher and Kristtorn were young children they realized they possessed magic, but with no adults raising them they had to learn how to use it on their own. Until one day a man and woman spot Kristopher in the woods while Kristtorn, the shy sibling, hid. They take him away to raise him as the child they never had. Kristtorn is so sad without her brother and is taken in by a local witch, who raises her until her passing. Years have passed and Kristtorn’ anger at her missing brother has only grown so she goes in search of him only to end up at the South Pole instead of the North Pole, where he lives now. There she befriends penguins and is able to start looking for her brother, who goes by Kris Kringle now. Unfortunately whenever she leaves a place there are traces of her left behind and the people begin to fear the Christmas witch. Who will triumph in the spirit of Christmas? Kris Kringle or his angry and misunderstood sister? 🎅🏻 This audiobook was amazing! The sound effects and narrator’s voice made it one of the best audiobooks I’ve ever listened to and wished it was longer. Now I need to see the illustrations that go along with the picture book but based on the cover I’m sure they’re gorgeous. This would make an amazing movie. Grab this one for your middle grade readers in time for the holidays! CW: death, abandonment

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bexa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I loved the artwork, but was very disappointed with the story. Twin children are abandoned in the forest as infants and survive by the help of the animals. Eventually, the boy is rescued and taken away by new parents, and doesn't once ever mention that he has a sister left in the woods. The sister is taken in by a wood witch and is taught to use magic and care for the forest. She becomes older and the village realizes there's a witch in the woods and goes after her. She flees the woods and ends I loved the artwork, but was very disappointed with the story. Twin children are abandoned in the forest as infants and survive by the help of the animals. Eventually, the boy is rescued and taken away by new parents, and doesn't once ever mention that he has a sister left in the woods. The sister is taken in by a wood witch and is taught to use magic and care for the forest. She becomes older and the village realizes there's a witch in the woods and goes after her. She flees the woods and ends up in the South Pole instead of the North Pole where she heard her brother lives. When she learns of his yearly gift giving she tries to follow him and leaves her own gifts for the children, which are declared pagan and evil and burned. She does find her brother but must flee again as the village wants to kill her. Her brother comes to her, but then tells her she can't help him and she should just stay alone with her penguin friends and live a life of solitude. This angers her and she stomps her foot and ends up sinking below the ice to be frozen in sleep until the ice melts. She'll come back one day and maybe she won't be angry then. That's the end of the story. What was the point?! This poor girl is abandoned by everyone, forced to live on her own, and when she finally reconnects with her family she is rejected again. This isn't a happy story, or a hopeful story, and I'm pretty sure when the witch comes back she's not going to be any less angry. I'm sure some people like the story for the different twist to the Kris Kringle tale, but this was so disappointing to me.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is the more, non-traditional Christmas story of the long lost twin sister of Kris Kringle, Kristtorn. The twins are abandoned deep in the forest and cared for by the animals there. As they grow they learn how to communicate with the animals and Mother Earth. As they grow up, Kris is adopted by a family unable to have children and Kristtorn finds a home with the local witch. Each learns different skills that form who they ultimately become! I saw that this book was written by Aubrey Plaza and This is the more, non-traditional Christmas story of the long lost twin sister of Kris Kringle, Kristtorn. The twins are abandoned deep in the forest and cared for by the animals there. As they grow they learn how to communicate with the animals and Mother Earth. As they grow up, Kris is adopted by a family unable to have children and Kristtorn finds a home with the local witch. Each learns different skills that form who they ultimately become! I saw that this book was written by Aubrey Plaza and knew that I had to read it! This book looks like a picture book but it is more just a large book for middle grade students. I found the story to be incredibly creative with an Earthy vibe. It definitely feels like a folk tale, full of magic and transformatins. The illustrations are great and really add to the narrative. This would make a great animated movie!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Pierce

    The illustrations were gorgeous and I always appreciate it when people take the time to tell new and creative Christmas stories. That said, I felt this story had a mixed and slightly depressing message. And while that is not necessarily a bad thing in itself, my personal preference would have been for the story to have a more hopeful conclusion. I enjoyed the story, but this is probably not one I would add to my Christmas collection.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laney

    I just want to take a moment to appreciate Julia Iredale. She did an amazing job illustrating this book. It is beautifully done. That said, I love Aubrey Plaza. I would be singing the praises of this book regardless. But I do think this is genuinely a very cute, well written story with illustrations to match. She and Dan should be really proud of this, and I hope they write more in the future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Ball

    I absolutely loved this- not so little- picture book. This a gorgeous story, imagining a sister of Santa Claus who is raised in the woods by a witch, separated from her brother. The artwork is absolutely gorgeous. And the humor in here is wonderfully Plaza’s, and embraces the scary stories of the Christmas season.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I’m with the Christmas Witch. Down with Santa! Beautiful illustrations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte Dodd

    Loved this twist on the classic Santa story! I think every classic Christmas story needs a red haired witch added in now.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Wanted to love it, but some of the themes/plot were a bit much for my 7 year old, and the general arc for me felt kind of flat and forced.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frosty61

    This was just okay, though the illustrations are lovely. As others have noted, it isn't a happy, feel-good holiday tale. The sad ending was disappointing. This was just okay, though the illustrations are lovely. As others have noted, it isn't a happy, feel-good holiday tale. The sad ending was disappointing.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becky Ginther

    I listened to this one on audiobook - it was a neat little story with good narration and music mixed in. I would definitely be interested in a longer version. I'm also going to flip through the book at the library because I've heard the illustrations are beautiful! I listened to this one on audiobook - it was a neat little story with good narration and music mixed in. I would definitely be interested in a longer version. I'm also going to flip through the book at the library because I've heard the illustrations are beautiful!

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