Review Blog

Nov 24 2015

How to catch Santa by Jean Reagan

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How to catch Santa by Jean Reagan
Ill. by Lee Wildish. Hodder Children's Books, 2015. ISBN 9781444925463
(Age: 3-8) Recommended. This is sure to become a Christmas read-aloud favourite. Do not expect a heart-warming tale about the true meaning of Christmas. This is pure fun and unashamedly about Santa and presents. Set loosely as a how to guide (following the formula of other books in the series including How to Babysit a Grandad this picture book humourously tells the reader ways about inventive ways to catch Santa - and what to do when you've caught him. The team behind this book are American so it portrays a northern hemisphere Christmas, however, this does not detract from its appeal to Australian audiences. The end papers with please and thank you letters to Santa are a nice touch. The illustrations are bright, simple and effective.
The two young children showing us all their Santa catching tricks are bouncy, happy and full of energy. They start off telling us about what to do once we have him; questions we need to ask him such as 'how do you find children who are away on trips?'; things we have to tell him like 'I'm trying very hard to be good' and things we should give him such as a headlamp for going down chimneys. Then the fun really begins. They tell us that crazy schemes like tying nets between palm trees and distracting him with giant candy canes will definitely NOT work. Instead, they suggest crafty things like leaving glitter in an envelope so that Santa leaves a trail and clever things like getting your whole family to watch for him at the window. As they are easy to implement parents should prepare for children to put these ideas into action and cover the house in carrots and glitter! Luckily, the last and most important piece of advice given is that Santa definitely will not come until you are asleep . . .
Nicole Nelson

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