Santa, Please Bring Me a Gnome

An Swerts, illus. by Eline van Lindenhuizen. Clavis (Legato, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-60537-275-4
In a sweet story about single-minded holiday wishes, a roundheaded girl named Tess with unruly strawberry-blonde hair wants only one thing from Santa: “a real gnome,” who she imagines will become her constant companion. On Christmas morning, however, there is no gnome in sight. Instead, there’s a glass box filled with sawdust, and a letter from Santa explaining that, while “Gerard the Gnome was looking forward to coming and living with you,” he gave his place to Flannel, a homeless hamster, who needed someone to care for him. Van Lindenhizen’s smudgy paintings create a cozy world for Tess, and it’s clear that she has many attentive adults in her life. Though the story ends abruptly, Swerts gently addresses Christmas expectations and disappointments while suggesting that sometimes the wrong gift turns out just right. And Santa’s note to Tess might give parents in similar situations some ideas. Ages 4–up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-60537-389-8
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