Review Blog

Nov 28 2018

Dear Santa by Elise Hartley

cover image

Ill. by Shannon Horsfall. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781742993683
(Ages: 5-8) Themes: Christmas, Letter Writing, Humorous Stories. This is a collection of mostly unrelated letters from different animals to Santa. There is a letter from a moose asking if he could take the place of a reindeer on the sleigh, one from a skunk asking for lots of very nice-smelling gifts for Christmas and one from an emu asking for a jetpack to help him fly. There is also a final postcard from an elf who has popped off for a holiday in the sunshine. The humour in here is mostly suited to older children as many of the references won't be understood by those younger (the turkey asks for Santa to give everyone chicken and vegetarian cookbooks). There is one narrative thread running through the letters which helps to hold it all together (the mouse asks Santa to take away the cat he left him last year, the cat asks for rollerblades to catch the mouse, the dog asks for a new skateboard because the cat next door borrowed his). Older children will pick up on all of these threads and will understand the witty humour in each letter.
Nicole Nelson

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