The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher by Robert Kraus, Illustrated by Vip

 

The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher by Robert Kraus
Originally published in 1969, reissued in hardcover 2010

 

Elephant by Rebecca BenderThe Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher is a good book with 3 or 4 stars. In the book the Snitcher is just someone who doesn’t understand Christmas and tries to find his own way to have fun. I think it’s a really good book and it used to be my favourite.

Reviewed by Erin

***

This was my absolute favourite book the year I was in kindergarten. I really hate to date myself, but that was quite some time ago now, back in the early 70’s. I can still remember the ball of eager anxiety that would form in my stomach as we sat on the carpet for story time in the school library. Would I be able to find my beloved book before anyone else got to it?

Years later I decided to track the book down and share it with my own kids. That’s when I found out The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher had been out of print for years, and second hand copies where selling for over $400! Fortunately Purple House Press, a small publisher dedicated to “rescuing long lost but well-loved children’s books,” took up the cause and the book is back in print.

So, some 40 plus years later, how has my once favourite book stood the test of time, and changing perspectives? About as well as most memories once idolized I’m afraid.

The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher tells the tragic tale of a town bereft of sprinkles for their Christmas cookies, all snatched by the sneaky Snitcher. When the entire population, including the chief of police, gives way to despair, a “plucky kid named Little Nat” takes matters into his own hands, and sets out to confront the Snitcher and save the baking season since…

“Christmas cookies without sprinkles

Are like raisins without wrinkles,

And like sleigh bells without tinkles

Are Christmas cookies without sprinkles.”

As you can see, the story is told in rhyme, which is both its charm and its downfall. If you put your literary glasses on, you will choke to death. BUT if you take the combination of trite and forced rhymes and the strained scansion as part of a quirky charming idiosyncratic package, then it all fits together.

Where the book still really shines is in its wonderful illustrations. Those who take the time to notice will find lots of amusing details in the pictures, which have aged better than the text. (Or survived my aging better than the text, depending on how you want to look at it.)

The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher will always hold a place in my heart, and on my bookshelf, and I really do think it is still a fun read as long as you don’t try to take it too seriously and just let the quirkiness of the text become part of the charm.

Turtle by Rebecca BenderReviewed by Susan Jean

(review copy personally purchased).

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