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Publisher's Summary

An Audiofile Magazine Earphones Award Winner! Twelve-year-old Amanda Krumwerth can't believe her eyes or her ears. She's come face-to-face with an elf from the North Pole. And not just any elf; he's Marmel, head of Santa's Department for Labeling Humans Naughty or Nice. Marmel just told Amanda there is not one good quality about anyone in her family, so they are all destined to go onto the Permanent Naughty List. With only two days before the sun sets on Christmas, how can Amanda prove Marmel wrong and save her family from their fate? Find out in this delightful new story about an unhappy elf, an unpleasant family and the true meaning of Christmas.

Amazon, Goodreads & Audible readers agree: "One of the best Christmas stories I've ever read...", "Fun and magical...", "Perfect for the entire family..."

©2016 Dennis Canfield (P)2016 Dennis Canfield

Critic Reviews

"...this quirky and charming Christmas tale is as good as it gets." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Family Road Trip Book

This is a review of the updated version of this book and the new audio version narrated by Simon Vance.

This book was so cute! A great Christmas story that I can see being made into a movie.

Marmel, head labeling elf he is in charge of labeling the naughty and nice and he is in a tizzy because Santa changed the rules and now no one is on the naughty list but Marmel has found a whole family (The Krumwerth’s) that he thinks should be on the permanent naughty list, no more chances they are just bad, bad, bad, at least according to Marmel. However, Santa wants to give them a chance to redeem themselves, much to Marmel’s chagrin. According to the rules Marmel must inform the family they are in danger of being on the naughty list forever, so he heads to the house and informs teenaged Amanda of the family’s fate. We also get to see Santa’s brother RC (Reverse Claus) who lives on the South Pole and wears green and has green and white candy canes, which I will never look at without thinking of RC again!

I enjoyed the Krumwerth family too they used to have fun on Christmas but have somehow forgotten their Christmas spirit, but they aren’t the only ones Marmel seems to be having a problem with this himself and for and Elf that is a very bad thing to happen.

The story is told by Marmel & Amanda in alternating chapters as you see how they try to get their Christmas Spirit back. I enjoyed the family stuff and know what it is like when Christmas becomes more of a chore than the fun and family it is supposed to be. I also enjoyed the scenes in the South Pole and hope maybe RC will get his own book one of these days!

I truly enjoyed this book and can so see it as movie **Hello Hollywood… Do You Hear Me? **

I highly recommend this fun book, even if you are done with your Christmas reads for the year I say pick one more up. I will be buying a paper copy for our library.

Simon Vance’s narration is very well done. This would make a great family roadtrip book!

4 ½ Stars

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 04-16-18

Christmas Kindness - A Must Listen!

Back to Christmas is a lovely revamped Christmas story about family and Christmas spirit.
Technology and (non) time management has made families drift apart. To avoid staying off a Permanent Naughty List, Amanda is tasked with trying to get her family to actually learn togetherness and take a moment to breathe and rekindle kindness and goodwill.
Well written with relatable characters, most people may see the family dynamics hits too close to home. Hopefully, not your own though!
Simon Vance narrates with varied voices and invites listeners to sit back and enjoy a modern day Christmas tale!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

a new favorite Christmas story.

This book is great fun for children of any age, even as old as 99. Hopefully, everyone who reads it will be filled with Christmas spirt. It teaches all of us a lesson on happiness and doing good. I really identified with the elf and wanted him to saved from his doom.

The narrator did an excellent job of making each voice distinct from one another and his performance is what made this story stand out as a new classic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really loved this new version

I have both versions of this book, the earlier book from last year and this year's updated version narrated by Simon Vance. I must say that I really loved this version more. Last year's was good, but Simon Vance just made this year's version even better.

Loved the updated story by Dennis Canfield. I will be listening to this version again next year around Christmas time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Cheerful Story just in time for the holidays

A great Christmas story narrated by Simon Vance (I couldn't pass it up). It's about a family who has become detached from each other, so much so that they are in danger of being put on the Permanent Naughty list. A curmudgeonly elf is dispatched to give them a chance to redeem themselves. It has a good message of how we need to put down all our devices and spend time with the ones we love.

This was exactly what I needed, a story that made me laugh and feel good. My inner child was enchanted while the adult laughed a lot. It would be good for families to listen to this together too. Thanks Mr. Canfield for this copy, I am truly grateful.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Perfect length kid-friendly Christmas story

This is a great children’s Christmas story. It has just the right length (under 3 hours on audio) and is age appropriate for all. This story explores some fun Christmas concepts that I haven’t heard before like a “permanent naughty list” and a relative of Santa Claus living in the South Pole!

I suppose I did not particularly enjoy the parts involving the penguins adventure and whatever was going on with them. I tended to enjoy the family happenings better. In any case, this would make a perfect “Hallmark” type of movie (of course it has a ‘cheese’ factor, but it’s perfect for kids and families alike).

My eight-year-old son, Olsen, has read this and will post his review below (as long as I can get him to write anything, which is really hard these days).

The narration of this book was terrific. I really liked how versatile Simon Vance was and even incorporated different nationalities into his voices.

Olsen’s rating: 5 stars
Olsen’s review:
I liked the book. It was a good one. I liked when they almost got on the permanent naughty list. And that the penguins messed up the apartment. I liked Reverse Santa and his penguins. It was a perfect length. The narrator was good.

I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Holiday Gem

Where does Back to Christmas rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very close to the top.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Marmel, the elf.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

He brings this story to life. His rich narration made everything appear in three dimensions, and I felt like I was watching a movie play out as I listened. Mr. Vance truly is among the best narrators around.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! If I could have, I would have listened to the entire book without pause.

Any additional comments?

If you love classic holiday movies like "Miracle on 34th Street", "It's a Wonderful Life", "White Christmas", Rudolph, or Frosty, then I guarantee that you will love this audio book. It is clever, original, and funny. It had me smiling from the opening disclaimer to the epilogue. This is a story about an elf in danger of losing his Christmas spirit and a family in need of reclaiming their own. This book is bound to become a holiday classic in it's own right. Simon Vance's rich narration brings the story to life; he makes the characters and the situations three-dimensional. As he read it, I felt like I was watching it unfold before me. It's sweet, full of holiday cheer, and leaves you feeling good. Even for those who do not celebrate Christmas, this is a story that will entertain and leave you feeling good about, well, everything. I recommend this book to everyone.I was given this audio book as a gift, with no strings attached, by the author. My review is offered freely and is truthful. I thank Mr. Canfield for sharing this gem with me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Leslie F.
  • LONG BEACH, CA, United States
  • 11-13-16

Fun, family-friendly holiday story

This was a really cute book. It is perfect for the entire family, and keeps the attention of all ages. The elves, Santa, and Reverse Santa appeal especially to kids, and I loved the message about the importance of family. It was nice to see a family "unplugged" and doing things together. I sometimes forget how much technology (our phones, TV, etc.) can get in the way of spending quality family time together. I listened to the Audible audio version of this book narrated by Simon Vance. I really liked his narration. He had unique voices for each character, and his voice is really pleasant to listen to. If you're looking for a holiday store you can enjoy with the whole family, I highly recommend this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Utterly Charming Christmas Story

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is an utterly charming Christmas story which can be enjoyed by the whole family every holiday season. There are some nice lessons and little reminders for everyone to be a little kinder and a little more thoughtful not just during the holidays but all year. I especially enjoyed the reminder that in our current world where everyone is glued to their electronic devices and ignoring everything and everyone around them -- even our family and friends -- , to turn off those devices and actually spend some time interacting with each other.

The narrator, Simon Vance, was fantastic. He created voices for each of the characters and his voice is very easy on the ears!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A cutesy contemporary holiday tale with a moral

A cutesy contemporary holiday tale with a moral. The story rated about as high as an above average hallmark or ABC Family movie.

This review is for the audiobook version. Narrator, Simon Vance, shines as always. Dude could read the friggin phone book and it would sound good.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.