When Santa Came to Stay

Dial. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593325230.
PreS-Gr 2–When Santa comes to visit, he loves the young protagonist’s cookies so much that he returns on New Year’s Eve and stays through Valentine’s Day. And then Easter, and Mother’s Day. A never-ending Christmas seems like it would be every child’s dream, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Mrs. Claus arrives for Valentine’s Day, of course; the Easter Bunny joins in at Easter, along with all her baby bunnies. By the 4th of July the house is too full, and the family is sick of eating Christmas dinner every day. But Santa won’t go. Even soliciting help from the mayor to evict him goes awry. It’s not until the young girl turns the tables on Santa, overloading him with Christmas presents and cheer, that he’s finally able to see the error of his ways—and that part of what makes Christmas Day so special is that it’s only once a year. Told through rhyming couplets and accompanied by vibrant illustrations full of the color and movement, this is a fun and silly story that will be giggled over while shared time and again during the holiday season. The protagonist is biracial, with a dad who is white and a mom who has brown skin; a variety of skin tones are represented in both humans and elves.
VERDICT Holiday high jinks reminiscent of Caralyn’s Buehner’s Snowmen at Night make this a worthy addition to the holiday fare for all libraries.

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