Friday, December 21, 2018

The Day Santa Got Sick, by Deanne Samuels

Finally!  A Christmas book that features a black Santa.  I stumbled across this on Amazon and instantly ordered it.  And even better, the two other main characters are also black -- Mrs. Claus ("Coretta" in this book) and Ella Elf.  My son and I were both thrilled when this book arrived and read it immediately.

The story itself is fine.  Santa gets sick and has to find someone else to deliver the presents, but there are drawbacks to all the volunteers (a Snowman would melt in the hot countries, for example).  The main twist hinges on the fact that elves aren't an option because they can't read the list -- they never learn because they are so focused on making toys.  However, Ella Elf can read (it's not clear why), and she successfully teams up with Mrs. Claus to deliver the presents and saves Christmas.  I guess the message is that learning to read is important?  But given that this is a book for younger kids who presumably cannot read yet, it seems off.  Another odd twist is that there are words in other languages sprinkled throughout without explanation ("How would you place all the regalos around the Christmas tree?"), presumably because Santa speaks all languages.  However, aside from translations in the beginning it's never addressed and confused my son (and honestly, me).

All that aside, the book is pleasant enough and given the bold illustrations featuring a black cast at the North Pole I recommend it without hesitation!

BUY HERE (or request at your local library!)

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Fatima's Great Outdoors, by Ambreen Tariq and illustrated by Stevie Lewis

  BUY HERE (or, even better, request at your local library!)