The Real Santa

Nancy Redd, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow. Random House, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-17814-0
Christmas preparations are underway for a Black child and their family, with a variety of Black Santas at the center, his visage “sitting on our Christmas tree, smiling on our gift wrap, and stitched on to my sweater”; a collection of brown-skinned Santa figurines also graces the fireplace mantle. As the pajama-clad family readies for Christmas Eve and reads together—canny readers will recognize the cover of the author’s previous work—the excited protagonist grows increasingly curious about Santa’s appearance. Determined to catch a glimpse, the child sneaks back downstairs, but falls asleep under the tree, only to be carried to bed by a Santa who “looks just like I hoped he would—// Santa looks just like me.” Redd’s representation of a Black family during the holidays radiates pride in self-identity, while Barlow’s cozy mixed-media illustrations conjure the wonder of the season in this welcome, resonant tale. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2021
Release date: 10/26/2021
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-593-17815-7
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