A beautiful and heart warming story that I really enjoyed from the first page. Full of Christmas wonder, I would like to think that every child would read this book, although 'christmas' themed this could be read at any time of year. The story also brings alive the true meaning of family and love that binds each member together.
The story follows two sisters, Nicole and Ashley, from a lovely family who live in Austria. On the way to school one day the girls visit the market keeper, Boznik, who gives Nicole a 'magic' candy cane. As Nicole anticipates the full 'magic' to appear she fails to realise that the magic can show in many forms and believes that the candy cane has only brought her bad luck. First she is attacked by golf balls by the nasty Brunheim boys (now her enemies) but luckily escapes with only bruising, she is then stricken by fever, missing church and St Nicholas festivities that she has been looking forward to for ages, but overcomes this and recovers, then the tragedy of the house fire which she luckily escapes from, gains help and saves the home of further damage, followed by the surprise visit of her Grandparents to save the day.
To make the nasty Brunheim boys suffer, Nicole decides to take the day off school and make them believe she is seriously ill following their golf ball target practice at her and her little sister, but she is caught in a mountain blizzard, tragedy sadly strikes and her world is turned upside down, will the magic appear once again to save the day?
I loved how close the family were with each other, especially the two sisters, a lovely refreshing change. The stories told by the girls father and grandfather were really interesting and cleverly had hidden messages for the children to pick up on and in the end helped Nicole survive. The story is full of Austrian Christmas traditions for every reader to enjoy and would definitely bring the Christmas season alive and reminds you that magic moments can be taken for granted, they don't necessarily have a flashing signs. As an added bonus the author has included a special recipes section at the end of the story with wonderful Christmas recipes.
A marvelous thought provoking story for young and 'old' readers, full of positivity, highly recommended.