A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Your parents have your best interests at heart. Gift-giving at Christmas is an expression of love, in the tradition of St. Nicholas and Jesus. Holiday traditions have great meaning for families and cultures.
Positive Role Models
The dad gently tells his son Todd the truth and helps ease his concerns that his parents have lied to him about Santa Claus. St. Nicholas was kind and set an example for future generations. He also inspired the Christmas tradition of gift-giving.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Santa, Are You for Real? explains that the Santa Claus myth is just that and goes on to discuss the real St. Nicholas and the holiday traditions, such as gift-giving, inspired by him. Author Harold Myra was CEO of Christianity Today International for 32 years, and his Christian perspective informs the storytelling.
Is It Any Good?
What this story does best is present the truth -- a truth that's sometimes hard for parents to fess up to their children. It's a rite of passage in every child's life: Is Santa Claus real? This book is directed at those who are ready to learn the truth (and is definitely not for those who are hanging on to the myth a little longer). The rhyme helps keep children's interest, and the pictures are lively and almost cartoon-like, which lends to the book's appeal.
Unfortunately, the story turns to prose at the point where Todd's dad tells him the truth about St. Nick and the tradition of giving Christmas presents. It may be more direct, but it's dull in comparison with the liveliness of the poem. When children are ready for the truth, though, explaining our December traditions through the use of this book can be a special shared moment between parent and child, and can help make the explosion of the Santa myth a little easier to take.
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