My Pen Pal, Santa by Melissa Stanton


My Pen Pal, Santa, Melissa Stanton, Random House, 2013

Format: Picture Book

Rating: 1-5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 3

Genre:  Holiday

What did you like about the book?  Ava writes a thank-you letter to Santa after Christmas and they begin a year round correspondence.  I liked that the child is shown as being so thoughtful as to write a thank-you.  The layout features Ava’s letter on the left side of the spread and Santa’s answers on the right. Children get a peek into Santa’s life beyond Christmas time – planting poinsettias in the spring, on holiday with Mrs. Claus at the beach, and more.  When the holiday comes around again, Ava’s only item on her Christmas list is to meet her pen pal. The final wordless page shows her bringing him the healthy carrots he had asked for.  The illustrations by Jennifer A. Bell capture the colors of the seasons.

What didn’t you like about the book?  Nothing.

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them)  This is a nice Christmas book to give to those in 1st grade who might be beginning to question the idea of Santa.

Who should buy this book? (Middle schools, high schools, small libraries, all libraries, etc.)  Public libraries

Where would you shelve it and why?  Holiday picture books.

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you love Christmas.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library

Date of review:  9/23/13

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