By Author / Illustrator
Little Santa loves, loves, loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. So, when they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. Lucky for him, a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa, to look for help, and along the way, he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves, who are more than eager to join in the rescue. (And you know the rest of the story!)
Little Santa is the tale of how Santa grew up to become the jolly red-suited gift giver that we know and love today. Jon Agee has done a superb job in creating a story that engages young readers in Santa's origin story…something that, admittedly, I had never considered before. There is no doubt that children would have questioned Santa's younger years and this book weaves a fantastic tale of an ordinary family who live in the North Pole and their struggles with coping with life in the tough, snowy environment.
The Claus family are miserable with their lives in the North…there is always wood to be chopped, snow to be shovelled and fish to be caught. The family just want to find a place full of warmth and sunshine so, much to the dismay of Santa, they decide to leave the North Pole and move to Florida. Mr Claus, Mrs Claus and the seven children are all ready to leave when a sudden snow drift consumes their family home and traps them inside!
Thankfully, Little Santa is an expert at shimmying up chimneys so he sets off on a journey to find help. Along the way, we are introduced to the other familiar characters associated with Santa in the form of a team of elves and very special reindeer. Before long, Little Santa has come to the rescue of his family and their views of the North Pole are changed for the better.
This story is a lovely introduction to the story of Santa and how he became who we know today. I will be adding this to my Christmas story collection and it will be making an annual appearance during each festive period. I am planning on using it as part of whole class story times with my class of year 1s as I know it will prompt many discussions about Santa's younger life and will also allow for predictions to be made based on their prior knowledge of Santa.
Picture book / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 3+
Who would have thought we needed a Santa Claus origin story? Turns out, we do! Little Santa is a wonderful snapshot of Santa's life as a child in the North Pole with his family. They are fed up of the snow and want to move to Florida but before they can leave, a blizzard hits and the house is completely buried. Luckily young Santa is quite adept at getting up and and down chimneys, so he gets out and goes for help... Guess who he finds along the way to help him release his family?
This book is physically attractive - it's large and pleasing to hold and the illustrations are clear and unfussy. It will make a perfect December bedtime story for any child aged 5 to 9, to listen to with a cup of hot chocolate while the snow falls outside. Merry Christmas!
Picture book / Reviewed by Wendy Kelly, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 5+