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Pacific Book Review Star
Awarded to Books of Excellent Merit

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Nobody likes to hear about a child getting sick and needing to go to the hospital. So sets the story of Letter from Santa Claus by author Robin Jones. Written with very few words, this book excels with a superb sequence of illustrations projecting emotions from the parents and siblings, showing the care of the doctors, and the imaginary world of Santa Claus. Mostly it is the story-reading of the father to his son each day while the child is in the hospital which makes for the highlight of the book’s theme. Jones, through the story telling of the father to the sick child, revels how elves come to being, how Mrs. Claus

partakes in making snow and cooking a festive meal on Christmas Eve. These loving elements provide a comforting world of imagination, bringing the healing process into secondary focus with hopes and dreams of Christmas dominating the story; however it is the response by Santa himself to a letter he received which sparks the spirit of happiness and thus, recovery.

Santa wrote back with a lengthy letter of how happy he was to have heard from the boy, filling in the many details of life on the North Pole about the family of elves and reindeers. It all comes together with the theme of the Christmas gift-giving tasks, and how Santa knows what every boy and girl wants, as everyone becomes quite busy fulfilling their requests. As the depth of the imaginary world deepens, the reality of the hospital stay is lessened, and not to be a spoiler, but the boy becomes healed. He leaves the hospital on Christmas Eve to once again be home with his family – so yes, this book has a positive ending.

The excellence of the illustrations accompanying the rather unique aspects of Santa, Rudolf and Mrs. Clause, along with the elves, brings together a synergistic work of this children’s book genre achieving an amazing span of emotions; from the initial sadness of having to go to the hospital, through the recovery process, to finally going home. Having the reader immersed in the minutia of details about Santa and his message in his reply letter brings a Christmas story of its own of hope and love, happiness and faith. I was drawn emotionally into the characters, seeing the helplessness at times of sickness, to being comforted by the father’s daily visits to the hospital and loving readings of stories, to the ultimate joy of the reply from the North Pole.

Letter from Santa Claus is a roller-coaster of emotions ideal for supporting any child who has an illness, as well as a sole-enriching Christmas story. It is a wonderful achievement of pushing the boundaries of emotions resulting in a memorable story to children being read this story, as well as the parents reading it. For a book to achieve these impressions in such few pages makes for a wonderful gift to all.

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