The cover of a new Christmas book, "Humbug, A Christmas Carol"

"Humbug, A Christmas Carol," by Lee Baker, Brigham Distributing, 38 pages, $15.95

"Humbug, A Christmas Carol" is the story of a frozen town whose people have lost the spirit and warmth of Christmas.

The humbugs comes in and start to hum and change things.

This book, however, makes promises it can't keep.

The pages of the book are nicely illustrated in a graphic-novel kind of way.

The premise of the story is good: Mean people thaw when they're met with song, smiles and a cheerful attitude. The problem is, it isn't told so that children can enjoy the tale.

It's wordy and somewhat harsh. As my grandchild said, "You're reading it long!"

It's even pretty tough for adults.

Maybe if it were shorter and more to the point: Life in a town without Christmas is bleak. Humbugs hum. Things improve. Merry, Merry.

The humbugs aren't personable, and even a little girl who comes to Winterton with a smile and hope isn't ever made real.

The story takes way too long to read to a child and it's concepts are over the heads of the very young, which is disappointing because the cover is pretty and promises a nice journey.

Sharon Haddock is a freelance writer who has been a staff writer for The Deseret News for 17 years. She has a blog called Grandma's Place: