In our last update on the upcoming Guardians of Childhood picture book, which revolves around fan favorite character Jack Frost, we included the official cover art and some images from the book.
Now, we have the official plot description of the book (courtesy of Simon & Schuster). Let’s just say that if you’re only familiar with the film (which takes place 200 years after the events of the books), then prepare to be shocked and very, very confused (also, HUGE SPOILER warning for anyone who doesn’t want to know anything before the book comes out):
Discover how Jack Frost keeps the hearts of children happy in the third picture book in Academy Award winner William Joyce’s ‘New York Times’ bestselling and “dazzlingly inventive” (‘Publishers Weekly’) ‘The Guardians of Childhood’ series.
Before Jack Frost was Jack Frost, he was Nightlight, the most trusted and valiant companion of Mim, the Man in the Moon. But when Pitch destroys Mim’s world, he nearly destroys Nightlight too, sending him plunging to Earth where, like Peter Pan, he is destined to remain forever a boy, frozen in time. And while Nightlight has fun sailing icy winds and surfing clouds, he is also lonely without his friend Mim. To keep the cold in his heart from taking over, he spreads it to the landscapes around him and earns a new name: Jack Overland Frost.
But a true friend always comes through, and on one particularly bleak night, Mim shines down and shows Jack a group of children in great peril. Through helping them, Jack finds the warmth he’s been yearning for, and realizes bringing joy to others can melt his own chill. It is this realization—that there will always be children who need moments of bravery, who need rosy cheeks, who need to build snowmen, and who are then eager for a spring day—that makes Jack realize why he is a forever boy, and worthy of becoming a Guardian of Childhood.
For those who are unfamiliar, Nightlight is Tsar Lunar/The Man in the Moon’s protector and companion (as stated above) and one of the original Guardians in the chapter books. Before, there was some discussion among the fandom about how similar Nightlight and Jack Frost looked (white hair, staff, etc.). Now, the connection between the two characters is made clear: Nightlight and Jack Frost are the same person (or are they?).
I have to say, for what is supposed to be a series of books aimed at children, Guardians of Childhood contains what has to be one of the most complicated and flat out insane mythologies in all of children’s fiction. One wouldn’t know how complex and labyrinthine the stories are simply by looking at William Joyce’s wonderful illustrations.
As for the picture books themselves, they tell the origin stories of each Guardian (the last two focused on The Man in the Moon and Toothiana). Where the books fall in the overall timeline isn’t exactly clear (they tend to jump around) but, like the picture books, they all predate the events of Rise of the Gurdians by at least 200 years.
In the case of this particular picture book, we already saw what was supposedly the origin story of Jack Frost in the movie. So, it will be interesting to see how that origin story is reconciled with what we are told in the picture book (if the connection is explained at all).
But, to be fair, the synopsis is pretty vague when it comes to explaining how Nightlight “became” Jack Frost. It’s entirely possible (and this is my personal theory) that Nightlight’s aforementioned battle with Pitch takes place before the events of the books and, when he gave up his “coldness,” Nightlight became a human boy who aged like everyone else. In this case, Jackson Overland Frost (the human) would be a descendant of that “boy.” Then, around the time that Jack dies, The Man in the Moon brought him back to life in the image of his ancestor (Nightlight).
Or (and this is another personal theory of mine) the battle actually took place around the time that Jack (the human) died, while trying to save his sister, and The Man in the Moon somehow took Nightlight’s “coldness” and gave it to Jack. Thus, The Man in the Moon allowed a part of Nightlight to be reincarnated into Jack Frost.
We Can Only Wait
Is your head spinning yet? If you haven’t read the books at all and/or you are only familiar with Rise of the Guardians, I don’t blame you if you are confused. Like I said before, it’s almost something of a surprise how dense and twisty the mythology of the books are.
But, like all anticipated books in a series, you’ll just have to wait until the books comes out in order find out how they all link up together.
What do you think? Do you have any thoughts on this reveal? Will you read this book?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes