The Christmas Magic

Common Sense Media says

Enchanting, soulful portrait of Santa.





What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

Kids will see Santa doing a lot of work to prepare for Christmas, from darning his socks to polishing his sleigh. And they’ll see thoughtfulness and consideration as Santa tends to the reindeer and gathers gifts for the children he cares so deeply about.

Positive role models

Santa is full of love for the world’s children, and patience as he prepares for the big night. Magic may be the key to Christmas, but Santa diligently does a great deal of work to get ready.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is nothing to be concerned about in this heartfelt holiday tale. Families feeling burned out by holiday commercialism will find some respite here.

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What's the story?

When Santa feels his whiskers tingling, he knows it’s time to get ready. He quietly goes about his preparations for Christmas in his cozy home at the North Pole: polishing his sleigh, oiling his boots, and gathering toys for delivery Christmas Day. And when the stars begin to shine their brightest, the Christmas magic fills the night.

Is it any good?


This is a Christmas lullaby for families to cherish. It’s a warm, calming alternative to gaudy holiday fare. There are no elves, no wish lists, no hearty jolliness. Lauren Thompson’s carefully paced writing is poetic and vivid, pairing beautifully with gorgeous illustrations by Jon J Muth: Kids will feel the reindeer’s shaggy coats, hear the harness bells jingle as Santa polishes them, and feel the warmth of the fire while Santa mends his socks. Here, Santa is a solitary figure, going about his preparations with care and loving attention.
Adults and kids alike will be touched by this meditative picture book. Its quiet beauty invites families to be still, for just a moment, and feel a bit of holiday magic.

Soft watercolor and pastel artwork casts a spell all its own.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Santa’s work. Magic is essential to what he does, but is magic enough on its own? What does Santa need to do to be ready?

  • Compare this Santa story with other books or movies about him. How is this Santa different? How is he the same? Why does he seem different from one story to the next?

Book details

Author:Lauren Thompson
Illustrator:Jon J. Muth
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Press
Publication date:September 1, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:6

This review of The Christmas Magic was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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