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BRAVE SANTA by Nancy  Poydar


by Nancy Poydar & illustrated by Nancy Poydar

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8234-1821-9
Publisher: Holiday House

Plenty of children are nervous (or downright petrified) about the traditional visit to Santa Claus to convey toy requests and pose for photos. Poydar adroitly addresses this common concern through the story of Jack, a shy little boy with glasses who is nervous about talking to people he doesn’t know. His father role-plays with Jack so he can prepare to visit Santa, a technique that Jack employs when he finds Santa paralyzed with shyness himself behind the curtains surrounding his special chair at the mall. The concepts of shyness, courage, and practicing for a difficult social interchange are skillfully integrated into the story, which treats shyness respectfully—though shyness isn’t always a stage that’s outgrown, as the text indicates. Cheerfully bright paintings are filled with holiday decorations and patterns, with a cast of ethnically diverse children waiting for their turn with Santa. A joyous concluding spread shows a view of Jack’s dream on Christmas Eve, with Jack driving a toy-laden fire engine through the sky, with Santa in the back seat. (Picture book. 3-6)