Santa's Outback Secret by Mike Dumbleton

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Ill. by Tom Jellett. Random House, 2014. ISBN 9780857982254
(Age: Preschool - Yr 3) It is just a couple of weeks before Christmas and Santa is very busy carefully reading his Christmas mail. But when he opens a letter from Ben, he pauses and thinks and reads it again and again. For Ben has requested something really special . . . something that makes Santa interrupt his Christmas preparations, put on a disguise and leave the North Pole.. Dressed in some torn blue jeans stained with dirt, a snake-skin belt and an open shirt, old boots, a hat, a waterbag, a stockman's whip and a canvas swag, he has his reindeer fly him to the outback where he finds an old homestead and knocks on the door . . . (if I say much more I will give away the secret!)
This is another fun story in rhyme from Mike Dumbleton and Tom Jellett who brought us Santa's Secret a couple of years ago and which was such a hit with young students. They really liked the idea that they might meet a stranger on the beach and I'm sure many spent their Christmas holidays in anticipation! Finding Christmas stories that are a bit different can be a difficult task but I really enjoyed this one because it focuses on the giving side of Christmas rather than the getting. Santa is struck by the unselfishness of Ben's request and it opens up the possibilities of what we can do for someone as a gift rather than what we can buy.
If you are looking for a new Christmas story to add to your collection, this would be an ideal addition.
Barbara Braxton