Friday, October 7, 2011

The Santa Club - Kelly Moss

Summary:  A delightful book with captivating illustrations, The Santa Club transitions your child from receiving gifts to experiencing the joy of giving. With sensitivity, faith, and love, The Santa Club tackles the serious question, “Is Santa Claus Real?” To be read with your child, this wonderful book not only answers that sometimes “dreaded” question but it also addresses the questions of why Santa comes at Christmas and who was the first Santa. The Santa Club is a wonderful parenting resource and a stunning children’s book, and is sure to become an annual family favorite.  (Summary from author - Image from The Santa Club Facebook page - Book given free for honest review)

My Review:  My oldest daughter just turned eight years old and for the last several years, her belief in the "magic" of Santa Claus has been waning.  She has asked me a few times if Santa Claus is real and I have always put her off with a "Well, what do you think?" before quickly changing the subject.  I guess I've always been hoping for a good way of explaining why I've been lying to her for the last eight years of her life. 

The Santa Club is designed specifically for children who are old enough and have asked the questions "Is Santa Claus real?" or "Is there a Santa Claus?" Once they get your permission, and on the condition that they not tell other children what they read, your child can open the pages of this book and be welcomed into the Santa Club, where they learn that Santa is real, because we are all Santas who are honoring the tradition of St. Nicholas, a man who loved and followed Jesus Christ.  The Santa Club talks about God's greatest gift to us, His son Jesus Christ, and how we honor that gift every Christmas by giving to those we love and those who are in need.

Every family is different and every parent handles the question "Is Santa real?" in a different way. Some parents leave Santa completely out of the equation and choose to focus on the Christ part of Christmas. For them, this book is irrelevant.  Because of its religious tilt, this book might not be the best fit for families that choose to focus on the more secular aspect of Christmas, although they could certainly still talk about how we can all be "Santa."  This book is most useful for parents who are trying to help their children enjoy both the sacred and secular aspects of Christmas and don't know what to say to older children who are no longer buying that Santa's magic suit helps him fit down all those chimneys.

The only thing that I didn't like about this book was the illustrations, which looked like rough caricatures.  I didn't think they fit with the message; they threw off the feel of the book and might even be a little scary for younger kids.    For that reason, I am not sure if I'll give my child this book.  I might.  Might.  I haven't decided yet.  However, I will definitely be using the concept for the next time my daughter's curiousity gets the better of her.

My Rating: 3.25 Stars

For the sensitive reader:  While there isn't any offensive content, I wouldn't give this to your child without reading it first -- so that you can get your story straight.

Sum it up:  Don't worry, you haven't been lying to them.  You've just be waiting to tell them until they were old enough to join the Santa Club.  Whew!

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