The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated Cale Atkinson, is a delightful addition to Christmas picture book collections. This book, which will be released on October 11th, sort of flips the script on the whole belief-in-Santa issue.

In this story, Santa has doubts about the existence of a boy named Harold. Santa is distraught that Harold’s letter was probably written by his parents (who likely want all those gifts for themselves), and he’s sure that a little boy couldn’t possibly lift the big container of milk left out for Santa. On top of that, Harold just didn’t look the same when he sat on Santa’s lap last year. It all adds up, but what Santa really needs is proof one way or the other.

As for Harold, he has his own doubts about Santa. He hatches a plan to catch Santa in the act of delivering presents. What Harold doesn’t know is that Santa has his own plan to see if Harold is real. What happens next is both hilarious and heart-warming, and it will restore both Harold’s and Santa’s Christmas spirit once more.

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold is a great book for Christmas storytimes, no matter the age of the reader. Young readers who believe in Santa will appreciate seeing Santa’s side of things. Older readers will enjoy the humor present throughout the book, and this charming story may just inspire them to once again experience that childlike belief in Santa and the magic of Christmas.

Aside from the story itself, I think it’s also awesome to see depictions of biracial families in children’s fiction. It’s not a big deal in this book–and it shouldn’t be–but the mere presence of this family in the story makes it a necessary addition to many school and public library collections.

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When Santa Was a Baby

If you’re looking for a new book to share with children this Christmas, look no further than When Santa Was a Baby, written by Linda Bailey and illustrated by Genevieve Godbout. This charming book will be released on October 13th, and it is sure to find its place with our most beloved holiday stories.

When little Santa was born, his loving parents thought he was the most adorable thing they’d ever seen. Sure, his voice was a little more booming than they expected, but he was still simply precious.

As Santa grew, his parents noticed that he had an odd fondness for the color red, he loved cold weather, he gave all of his birthday presents to others, he was obsessed with chimneys, and he trained his hamsters to pull a miniature sled.

Santa’s parents weren’t entirely sure what to make of their unusual son, but they were certain he would grow up to do something wonderful. Perhaps he would be a firefighter or a scientist!

Well, as it turns out, Santa did do extraordinary things with his life. He moved to the North Pole and spent the rest of his days spreading joy, making toys, and following his dreams. And his parents couldn’t have been prouder.

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas

A Pirate’s Night before Christmas, written by Philip Yates and illustrated by Sebastia Serra, is definitely a departure from the traditional ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas tale. The rhymes are set up in a similar fashion, but imagine if you will a Christmas Eve aboard a pirate ship. The pirates are not “nestled all snug in their beds,” and they’re not waiting on Santa Claus. No, they are doing pirate things–”snorin’ like pigs,” dreaming of treasure chests, watching for approaching ships–and waiting on Sir Peggedy (the pirate’s Santa) to appear.

And appear he did, but Sir Peggedy is about as different from Santa as it’s possible to get. He does drive a sleigh, but it’s pulled by eight seahorses. (Sir Peg arrives out of the sea, by the way.) Sir Peggedy is fat, dresses in black, is covered in seaweed, has a patch over one eye, scars on his face, a gold tooth, a hook for one hand, a peg for one leg, and a skull earring. But, like the Santa we all know, Sir Peggedy does give presents to pirates on Christmas Eve. Some of those presents we might not want–like hardtack, a plank, or eggs–but others, like a map to buried treasure, would be welcome gifts to pirates and land lubbers alike!

This is a great twist on the traditional tale we all know and love. An extremely helpful–and funny–pirate glossary is included at the back of the book for those who are unfamiliar with pirate slang.

This book might make an excellent starting point for students writing their own versions of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. How cool would it be to imagine how Star Wars characters, superheroes, aliens, animals, or other things view Christmas Eve!