The Family Santa Almost Forgot

The Little Fig. Aug. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781633330672.
K-Gr 4–It’s Christmas Eve, and an exhausted Santa is resting back at the North Pole after a job well done. He’s delivered toys to cities all over the world: Dubai, Santiago, Kansas City. But, oh no! He’s forgotten Miguel Fidalgo in Tucson, AZ. Miguel’s been so good all year! The reindeer are too exhausted to go back out, so Santa rounds up a team of burros, hitches them to his sleigh, and after a shaky start and a bit of Christmas magic, they are off. The team lands on Miguel’s roof, and down the chimney goes Santa, filling stockings with everything Miguel and his family has wished for. The little boy peeks into the living room: “Santa, you’re REAL!” he exclaims. A multicultural spin on Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” most of Bacon’s text follows the spirit of the original poem. “Their landing was shaky. They made quite a clatter. Miguel ran to the window. What was the matter?” Santa and Miguel share the same light brown skin. Paniagua’s illustrations show a jolly old elf racing at top speed past a full moon, with the team of burros and candy cane–colored swirls of magic propelling them forward.
VERDICT A new take on a Christmas classic that is sure to make a merry read-aloud.

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