Robot Santa: The Further Adventures Of Santa's Twin Hardcover – Sep 9 2004
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–In this sequel to Santa's Twin (Morrow, 1996), the big man's brother Bob tries to help out by building a robotic Santa and reindeer, and trains a gorilla to drive the rocket-powered sleigh. Sure enough, things go wrong; by the time the surrogate St. Nick reaches his first house, he's having major software trouble and is downright scary. Meanwhile, the gorilla takes over the kitchen and starts cooking up a storm. Luckily, Emily and Lottie (stars of the first book) restore order and sanity, with some help from their dog Woofer and the real Santa. The tale is told in many, many rhyming stanzas, which can be rather exhausting to read, but there are enough laughs, wordplay, and clever twists to hold the interest of most kids, especially if they hear it read aloud. The illustrations are slick, smooth, and rather stiff, which works well with the robotic characters but not so well with the real ones; Emily and Lottie look as though they are made of plastic. If Santa's Twin is popular at your library, this title will be a hit as well.–E. M.
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About the Author
Dean Koontz was born in Everett, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Bedford. When he was a senior in college, he won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and has been writing ever since. Today he is a world-famous author whose novels have sold 225 million copies in thirty-eight languages. He has numerous New York Times adult best-sellers, including his most recent From The Corner Of His Eye. Dean Koontz is also the author of the children's book Santa's Twin. He lives in southern California.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Bob Claus has seen the error of his ways; but let's face it, he's still an idiot. In an effort to lighten Santa's load, he constructs Super Santa One--a robot Santa Claus that has a few screws loose. Along with a gorilla named Keith and a herd of robotic raindeer, Super Santa One has a new goal in mind...eat ceramics.
Ok, so not quite. And "Robot Santa" has quite a few flaws. There are the frequent changes in rhyme scheme, the pointless division of the storyline, and the occasionally forced rhymes. But there's also heart--heart and wit that borders on wisdom. Koontz is not at his best at prose, that much is obvious, but he's not too bad at it. And with Phil Parks doing some superb illustrations once more, "Robot Santa" is a sequal that, though it doesn't live up to it's predecessor, will be a delight to read for the holidays.
In Robot Santa a year has passed since Charlotte and Emily saved Santa and Christmas from Santa's evil brother Bob. Now reformed and leaving his evil past behind him Bob has decided to redeem himself by training a gorilla to drive a sleigh manned by a robot Santa he built to ease the workload of Christmas Eve. Of course the gorilla gets bored and Robot Santa malfunctions and it is up to Charlotte and Emily to save Christmas once again.
Robot Santa again has the rhyming style and great artwork that the original contained. Some of the rhymes don't flow as easily as the first book though and the quality of the story wasn't quite up there with the original classic. Fans of Dean Koontz or the original Santa's Twin will definitely want to check this out though.
Told in Koontz's trademark rhyming stanzas with an awkward but amusing meter, the silly verse will surely make kids laugh. Whimsical illustrations show such funny scenes as Robot Santa carting away the furniture, the gorilla in pilot goggles wearing a "kiss the cook" apron, and a mouse creating bedlam as it chases the reindeer through the house. Since this sequel refers back to the original story, it would be best if you have already read the original to the kids before reading them this one. This is a fun Christmas story.
It's been a long, long time since I've read a Dean Koontz book (with the exception of The Book of Counted Sorrows, which I read more for the sake of curiosity than anything). Robot Santa didn't inspire me to pick up any of his more recent novels, unfortunately.
While Koontz' particular brand of, shall we say, techno-verse (a very heavy beat, but the melody is often sorely lacking) certainly works better in a childrens' Christmas tale than it did in ...Counted Sorrows, it still lacks any pretension toward subtlety, and reads like Dr. Seuss on a hefty handful of quaaludes.
The book's saving grace is Phil Parks' illustrations, which are suitably creepy. Where Parks' wonderful illustrations complemented the text in Oddkins, here they more serve the purpose of saving the book from itself. ** ½