Review of When Santa Came to Stay

When Santa Came to StayWhen Santa Came to Stay
by Billy Sharff; illus. by Eda Kaban
Primary    Dial    40 pp.   g
10/22    978-0-593-32523-0    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-0-593-32524-7    $10.99

“Each meal was full of Christmas cheer, / With treats and sweets to spare.” What happens when Santa returns to one family’s house on New Year’s Eve (he really liked their Christmas cookies) and doesn’t leave? And then his extended family and pets show up, too? This story imagines the almost-year-long celebration/intrusion. It’s festive fun at first (mostly to the young narrator, not to her parents), but eventually only Santa and his gang are enjoying it. Kaban’s energetic cartoon illustrations, featuring a creative problem-solving Black girl in an interracial family, capture the over-the-top premise, making the most of the hilarious chaos.

From the November/December 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Kitty Flynn
Kitty Flynn is consulting editor for The Horn Book, Inc.

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