I was provided with a copy of Sled Zepplin in exchange for my honest review.
Elma the Elf is new to Santa’s toy factory. She’s full of enthusiasm and initiative; two qualities that are firmly discouraged in elves. It quickly becomes clear why, as Elma discovers a conspiracy of MI5 proportions: Santa is missing, and has been for years! Which as a mangy, farting and forgotten Comet explains, is why Parents have taken to giving out cheap nasty toys and dressing up as Santa. (Beware of this depending on what level of belief your child is at, as it may lead to awkward questions. Ours was told that there was no Santa by his grandfather at age 4. I’m very bitter about it). Elma is having none of it and so she and Comet set off on an adventure to get the reindeer band back together, find Santa and save Christmas.
Cranachan books is a relatively new publisher on the Scottish book scene, so the book isn’t necessarily as polished as the output from the larger publishers (there’s a few typos and sentences occasionally feel a little disjointed or hurried) but the story is a breathless romp with a great heroine, some great ideas and some genuinely fantastic lines which will have your kids giggling and begging for more. There’s certainly enough wit to keep you entertained as well, with wry little asides and comedic timing that translate well. McScrump’s accent is so well written that his character immediately leaps off the page.
I was eager to read this as it’s the first book I was given for review and who doesn’t love free books? But for a long time I couldn’t because the day it arrived and I read the opening sentence, which is a corker of an opening sentence, my 6 year old disappeared with it into his room and refused to emerge until he’d read the whole thing. I caught him reading it under his duvet at 10pm one night. I’m not sure I can provide a better review than that – he devoured it and loved it. My one caveat would be that, brilliantly, Cranachan Books is advertising this as an “advent book”; one chapter a night in the lead up to Christmas. It will never last that long because your kids won’t want to stop.