cover image The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold

Maureen Fergus, illus. by Cale Atkinson. Tundra, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77049-824-2

In a very funny story that flips the script on children’s doubts about the existence of Santa Claus, a grumpy Santa reveals that he has stopped believing in a boy named Harold. Fergus’s (the Buddy and Earl series) inversions of charges often leveled against Santa are deliciously fun. “That Harold who sat on my knee at the mall last year didn’t even look like the real Harold,” Santa tells Mrs. Claus. Atkinson (Explorers of the Wild) gleefully channels Santa’s surliness (his scowls and frowns suggest a child in the throes of a very bad mood), and he gives Harold (who is white) interracial parents, which could give the story added resonance for adopted children. Harold is just as skeptical about Santa, but Christmas morning lets them put their doubts to rest. Fergus and Atkinson commit fully to their premise, working in comic synch to deliver laughs on every page. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)