Love, Santa

illus. by Lee White. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545700306.
Gr 2–4—A young girl named Lucy has been exchanging letters with Santa every Christmas since she was five. As she grows older, she begins to have questions. Why does his writing look like her mom's? How does he visit every house? She begins to put the pieces together, and she writes her mom a letter asking if she is Santa. Her mom writes her back that she is not Santa, that Santa teaches us to believe, and that he has help getting down all those chimneys by those whose hearts he has filled with joy. While Lucy is saddened by this coming-of-age moment, she is also inspired to carry on the spirit of Santa. The watercolor and mixed-media artwork is sweet and cheerful and sets just the right tone for the sensitive conversations. The letters that Lucy writes to Santa are contained in envelopes inside the book, which unfortunately are likely to get lost in a library setting. The story pulls at the heartstrings and provides the perfect words that many parents struggle to find.
VERDICT Great for one-on-one sharing between parents and their children when it is time to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

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