The Corso’s Kids: The Christmas Minute

Genius Cat. (The Corso’s Kids: Bk. 3). Oct. 2023. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781938447778.
K-Gr 3–A magical story with roots in the real world—the company Corso’s Cookies acts as the inspiration for Hess’s simplistic Christmas tale. The book opens with a brief background about Tina Corso and her bakery, along with explaining the origin of the magic spoon that features in the book. Then the story begins. In this installment of the “Corso’s Kitchen” series, the characters use their family’s magic spoon to escape the busyness of the holiday season and head to Storytown, “a magical land...where storybook characters and children’s fantasies came to life.” They go ice-skating with the princess, and Santa makes a surprise visit to take a break before his big night. Despite everyone’s busyness, all is well thanks to the magical spoon’s ability to pause time and allow the characters to enjoy the season together. Brightly colored digital artwork accompanies the story; uncomplicated cartoon characters portrayed are not largely representative of varying ethnicities. The text styles of bolded dialogue and speech bubbles are somewhat indicative of more problematic inconsistencies in the text, including the rhyme structures.
VERDICT This saccharine tale seems to be more of a marketing tool to sell sweet Christmas treats than a compelling story.

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