The Real Santa by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

The Real Santa: Redd, Nancy, Barlow, Charnelle Pinkney: 9780593178140:  Amazon.com: Books
The Real Santa: Redd, Nancy, Barlow, Charnelle Pinkney: 9780593178140:  Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  “I love, love, love Santa,” says the narrator, whose house is filled with Santas as Christmas gets closer.  When Grandma and Grandpa arrive on Christmas Eve, they have a present for the kids to unwrap.  It’s another Santa for the collection, this one holding a list that includes the names of both the boy and his sister.  When Grandpa recounts how their mom tried to stay up and take a picture of Santa, the boy gets the idea to try that himself.  He falls asleep and gets carried off to bed by someone dressed as Santa.  Too tired to take a picture, he sneaks a quick peek and sees that Santa is just like he hoped, because “Santa looks just like me.”  32 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  The Christmas portrayed in this book will generate plenty of excitement:  lots or presents, a big tree, gingerbread cookies, and lots of Santas, all of whom have brown skin.  Black children (and their parents and teachers) will welcome this story that shows them that Santa looks just like them.

Cons:  The storyline of trying to wait up for Santa and falling asleep isn’t really a new one. 

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