Every year, since my husband and I were married we have bought a new Christmas book.
We’ve bought some wonderful books over the years, but Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed is one of our most beloved books.
My husband won’t be happy that I’m writing about this, but he gets choked up every time he reads Red Ranger aloud to the kids. (Personally, I think it’s because he sees himself in the main character of the book… Prickly.)
It’s a tale about a cynical young boy named Red and his skepticism of the existence of Santa Claus. As Red says, “… a kid’s life was one long opportunity for having the rug pulled out from below him at every step. Myself, I was determined to stay on my feet.”
The story is set during the Great Depression and the struggles of those times are woven deftly into the plot. As are themes of resourcefulness, gratitude and faith. Red wants nothing more (or less) than a bicycle. Well not any bycicle, but a “Buck Tweed Two-Speed Crime-Stopper Star-Hopper Bicycle…. but it was 1939, and although Christmas Eve had arrived, dreams were unaffordable.”
This book is as witty and funny as it is wise. And in the end, Red discovers sometimes our dearest wishes are granted… just not the way we expected. When the last pages are read, I challenge even the most cynical reader not to feel a bit of wonder and even hope at this delightful story.