Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Who Wants This Book?

I recently won a book from LibraryThing. Normally I just try for the adult books, but with Christmas coming, I thought I'd try for this one. Now that I've got it, I don't quite know what to do with it.

The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold is like when a child suddenly starts questioning the existence of Santa Claus, but in reverse. Santa has lost faith that a certain little boy actually exists. He can find all kinds of proof that he might not be real and gets very upset about it.

Actually, Harold is about the age when he starts wondering about Santa too, and the two of them decide to lay a trap to see if the other exists. It ends  happily enough but I have to wonder if it's wise to pass such a book on to a child.

Maureen Furgus has come up with a cute idea for a story, and Cale Atkinson has illustrated it quite beautifully in rich, mostly Christmasy colours. The book is printed on excellent quality, sturdy pages, and even the flyleaf is done in an imaginative style. 

The problem lies in the fact that this is a picture book. Most kids that would be reading a book of this nature would still be young enough to believe in the magic of Santa. I'd be afraid that this story might destroy that for them. I wouldn't want to be the one to put the idea that Santa might not exist into a young child's head. So what shall I do with this otherwise beautiful book?

My own grandsons are past the picture book stage.  While one is young enough to still believe in Santa, and another Elf that shows up here at this time of year, I doubt I'd want to give him this book.  I had a discussion on Facebook about it, and though one  person thinks I worry too much and it's just a cute story, others seem to see it my way.  I don't know that I'd even want to donate it to the library.  Perhaps I could take it to a second hand book store. At least I would hope whichever adult decided to buy it might give it a look and a bit of thought first.

Meanwhile, if you have a child who is young enough for picture books, and has already lost the belief in the jolly old elf, perhaps this is the book for you. 

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