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SANDRA CLAUS; A Tiny Gift to Santa Brings a New Tradition to Christmas

Author: Douglas Clark Hollmann

Illustrator: Frederick James Smith

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Publisher: Eumaeus Press,

Material: paperback

Summary: On Christmas Eve night, Santa opens his door to find a baby girl in a basket. He and Mrs. Claus name her Sandra. One year, when she was traveling with Santa, Sandra discovered that baby animals, like little children, want something for Christmas, too. This is a Christmas book that goes beyond traditional stories and incorporates themes of adoption, faith, friendship, and a love of animals.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 0 to 4; read yourself: 9 to 13

Interest Level: 7 to 10

Age of Child: Attempted reading with child 4, 5, and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: Although described as a book for toddlers and preschoolers, this is a chapter book with very few pictures and LOTS of words. WE tried at ages 4, 5 and 6 and could not get our child interested - and she LOVES Christmas and animals.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a wonderful story. We bought it based on the recommended age and because our preschooler loves animal stories and the adoption theme. We were exited to share it later, but through first grade, we could not get her interest. It fell to the same experience of other word-dense books (including several non-chapter books).

Pros: This is a wonderful expansion on traditional Santa-based stories, and includes narrative kids will recognize. It is great for adoptive families or any family that wants to emphasize that we all have special talents.

Cons: The stated target audience is too young to sit for a book like this.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow first. We were happy to have this book in our collection and expected it to be a favorite someday, but that never happened.

If You Liked This Book, Try: LITTLE WHISTLE'S CHRISTMAS   COUNTING TO CHRISTMAS   HORACE

Educational Themes: This story opens doors to talk about family and friendship, honesty, faith and love, judging people, and being special.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, Christmas, family, adoption

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2004

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