The Best Present I Ever Had


Children - Adventure
137 Pages
Reviewed on 05/31/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Debjeet Mukherjee for Readers' Favorite

The Best Present I Ever Had by William F. Polden Sr. is a children’s adventure that takes you on a magical journey during Christmas. Brenda Sue is surprised to find a unicorn named Pegasus standing in her backyard one fine day. Surprisingly, he brings news from Santa. After convincing her mom, Brenda rides on Pegasus to the North Pole so that she can help Santa in delivering presents. Entrusted with delivering five presents from Santa, Brenda soon realizes the difficulty of fulfilling wishes for the less fortunate children as she makes a tough choice while delivering the last gift. However, her parents and younger brother all lend their support as Brenda awaits the repercussions of her decisive action.

William F. Polden Sr. has created a fairy tale full of magic and charismatic characters. Children would love to enter this world covered in snow. The introduction of unicorns, elves, reindeers, and most importantly our beloved Santa Claus creates a mystical aura in a universe where anything is possible. I must appreciate the detailing in the plot which highlights not only Brenda’s adventures but also introduces mythical creatures from Greek mythology and tales from other worlds detailing the history of Santa’s bag. The Best Present I Ever Had restores faith in miracles and reminds me of the importance of family. The plot reiterates the victory of heart over logic under circumstances where warmth, compassion, and togetherness bring out the best in humans. I feel that in some way the author has inspired innocence in children and the great feats they can achieve with a pure heart.

K.C. Finn

The Best Present I Ever Had is a work of fiction in the adventure subgenre, penned for children by author William F. Polden Sr. In this charming short tale filled with magic and intrigue, we find Pegasus and Santa teaming up for a very special mission indeed. They are delivering a series of late presents to five special cases, along with the help of one pure-hearted girl to whom they teach the magic of Christmas. What results is a heart-warming story about the presents we want versus the miracles we truly need, and how we can all find faith and light in goodness and the magic of Christmas.

Author William F. Polden Sr. has crafted a superb tale that will be sure to warm the hearts of many young and young-at-heart people who come to read it. The cast of characters, both within the family home and in the wider world of the story, are artfully drawn to show their realistic humanity and the struggles they face in everyday life. I enjoyed the different themes and the exploration around the idea of presents and wishes, which I feel will encourage younger readers to ask questions and think about the real meaning of Christmas beyond the asking for gifts. Though the writing itself is a little complex and would probably be best read alongside an adult for most young readers, the story is one that the whole family can share in and talk about afterward. Overall, I would recommend The Best Present I Ever Had for readers seeking their next wholesome Christmas read.

Rabia Tanveer

The Best Present I Ever Had by William F. Polden Sr. is the story of a little girl who has been chosen by Santa and Pegasus to help them deliver five presents. Brenda Sue is just a regular girl. While her mother was preparing a Christmas feast for the next day, Brenda is visited by the beautiful white Pegasus with a very strange request. Santa needs Brenda to deliver five gifts to five worthy children. With her mother’s permission, she starts a journey across the globe with Pegasus. All she has to do is deliver the gifts to the children and get back home. Instead of handing over the gifts to the children, she has to wish them into existence at each child’s home. However, her true challenge comes when she reaches the last home and meets the child who is waiting for his gift. Will she be able to give him the gift he wants or the gift he deserves?

The Best Present I Ever Had by William F. Polden Sr. is an inspirational and beautiful story of giving and understanding each other. Brenda is a great protagonist. She is compassionate, kind-hearted and a genuinely nice person. I liked her thought process and how she came to the conclusion about the gift each child wanted. Although she is young as well, she is wise beyond her years. However, she is still a child in essence, which makes her decisions so pure and unfiltered. The story will appeal to readers age 12 and below. It is magical enough to keep them entertained while educational enough to teach them a lesson as well. The author paints beautiful pictures in the minds of readers. I enjoyed Pegasus and how he made a worthy companion for Brenda. The pace was fast and complemented the adventure theme of the story really well. Entertaining and perfect for the intended age group. This story would be loved by children and parents alike.