Cole and the Giant Gingerbread House by Riya Aarini

Cole and the Giant Gingerbread House by Riya Aarini
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Cole and Claudia are poor and homeless on Christmas Eve. Cole’s kindness toward another hungry child draws attention from Santa Claus, who gifts the siblings with a very special gingerbread house. Cole and the Giant Gingerbread House is an enchanting holiday tale about love, hope, and gratitude.

Every act of kindness matters.

I adored what this picture book had to say about helping others even if it’s difficult. Cole and his sister Claudia gave away something they desperately needed to two strangers who needed it even more in one of the earliest scenes. This was a hard decision for them to make, especially since these characters came from a poor family that didn’t have enough money to meet their needs.

As much as I enjoyed the rest of it, the ending felt a little abrupt to me. There were still some parts of the plot that hadn’t been tied up by the end of it. This was something I’d read to the little ones in my life for sure, but I’d also feel the need to explain a few things like why it was so important for Cole to follow the instructions he was given even though he didn’t understand them at first.

The fantasy elements of the plot were delightful. They truly captured the magic of Christmas, especially later on in the storyline after Cole and Claudia went home with empty bellies and sad hearts. That may not sound like a particularly festive way to spend the holidays, but take heart. Nobody knows what the future holds, and anything is possible during the most magical time of the year.

Cole and the Giant Gingerbread House was a heartwarming read.

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