Before we dive into the contents of the book, I want to talk about how gorgeous the cover is! I know the saying is don’t judge a book by its cover, well sometimes it’s okay to have an amazing cover! The hardback is a sturdy texture with some gold and gloss highlights. The spine alone will stand out on the bookshelf with its brethren. There is a lovely silk ribbon built in for bookmarking your page, while the coloring and illustrations capture the eye. This book itself is a cool piece just by the fantastic design.

However we will also review the contents. I have always loved the folklore of Krampus and the book does not disappoint. The book is broken down into three Acts. The first Act covers: The Story of Christmas, The Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, Yule, and Saint Nicholas. The author does a great job providing the history on the holiday folklore. While most people might think of Christmas as a happy, light filled time, the book takes a dive into the darker side of this time of year.

Act two covers the Yuletide monsters such as: Krampus, Belsnickel, Gryla, Mari Lwyd, The Yule Cat, Tomten, Pere Fouettard, La Befana, Marley’s Ghost, Santa Claus and more. These scary figures are ready to give out punishment to naughty children. The book does a fantastic job of diving into the dark world of the winter folklore with the creepy stories found within. I really enjoyed reading the various sections which are written in a way you can skip around to whom interests the reader the most first. This would be a fun book to pull out and read out loud during the colder months especially with family gatherings.

I loved the book design and the contents within. It’s gorgeously illustrated and packed with creepy and spine-tingling tales to entertain during the winter season!

This is definitely a recommended title on your shelf!

~review by Amber Barnes

Author: Jeff Belanger
New Page Books, 2023
pp. 200, $22.00