Santa in the City

Dial. Nov. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593110256.
K-Gr 2–Deja’s friends tell her Santa isn’t real. How can Santa navigate the city? Storybooks tell them Santa needs a chimney, a place to park his reindeer, and the North Pole is just too cold. How can Santa find Deja when she’s visiting family in Jamaica? Full of questions and doubt, Deja peppers her mother and the other adults in her life with all of the aspects of Santa that she can’t piece together. They each give her a plausible explanation with warmth and patience, but Deja decides she needs proof. Jackson, best known for her young adult thrillers, has created a delightful holiday story, especially for children who are beginning to question Santa’s existence or who have wondered how Santa will find their apartment. The book is ideal for a read-aloud, though the short sentences would not be intimidating to beginning readers. Brown’s cartoon-style illustrations are awash in purples, blues, and grays—not colors one would typically associate with a holiday story, but that fit perfectly in a book about Christmas in the city.
VERDICT A good purchase for public and elementary school libraries, especially those in urban environments.

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