Sunday, November 8, 2015

Santa, Is It Really You? by Marilyn Harkrider, illustrated by Hannah Newsome

Here's one Christmas tradition you may have wondered about.  Most of us sat on Santa's knee at some point, telling him our Christmas wishes.  But how did the practice of people dressed like Santa, greeting children at the mall or in department stores, come about?  Marilyn Harkrider has an idea, and she writes all about it in Santa, Is It Really You?

Years ago, Santa realized that he had become distant from his target audience.  All his time was taken up with his Christmas duties that he never had an opportunity to actually spend time with the children.  So he made it a practice, every Christmas Eve, to wake a child or two and visit.

He craved more time with the children, so at the suggestion of a helpful child, he started showing up at a department store, talking to the children there.  That kept him too busy and away from his duties at the North Pole, so, at the suggestion of that same helpful child, he recruited substitute Santas, who would appear on his behalf and relay the messages from the children to the North Pole.  To this day, those recruits work on his behalf.  But you never know when he might make an appearance himself. . . .

Santa, Is It Really You? is a perfect story for those kids who are on the brink, trying to decide whether or not Santa is real.  Harkrider has the answer to their questions about all the Santas they see during the Christmas season.  Hannah Newsome's illustrations have a simple, classic look, sure to appeal to young readers and listeners.  Harkrider's text is a bit wordy, which may put it out of reach for the toddler audience, but older preschoolers and younger elementary school children will delight in realizing the mystery of the multiple Santas around town at Christmas time.

Thanks to the publisher for the complimentary review copy!

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