Saturday, November 14, 2015
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you an adorable book about a little girl that desperately wants to celebrate Christmas.
DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN, written by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer and illustrated by Christine Davenier, is guaranteed to warm your heart whether you celebrate Christmas or not! This picture book, aimed at kids three to seven years old, tells the story of Rachel Rosenstein, a young Jewish girl who is desperate to celebrate Christmas. She yearns for the lights, Christmas trees, and even gifts from Santa Claus!
Rachel is determined to have Santa bring her presents so she decides to write a letter like her friends do each and every year explaining her situation. She even visits Santa at the mall and gets her picture taken. On Christmas Eve, Rachel secretly decorates her house in preparation for his arrival.
It's no surprise that Rachel is a little disappointed when she wakes up on Christmas morning; however, Rachel realizes that she's not the only kid who doesn't celebrate Christmas. In addition, Rachel begins to truly appreciate the specialness of her own culture and family customs.
I adored DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN! This picture book is adorable -- the story and the illustrations are something special. Rachel is just a lovable little girl and her creativity and perseverance are something to be admired. She also happens to be pretty funny!
And that's what I loved about this book -- it is both funny and heartwarming. Rachel just wants to celebrate Christmas and have a visit from Santa like so many of her friends. In her efforts to garner a visit from Santa, she has a series of mishaps that are very funny; and I can guarantee more than a few smiles from parents and kids alike.
And while DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN is very entertaining, it's also touching. Rachel reminisces about all of the Jewish holidays that her family celebrates together, and she eventually learns to appreciate her culture and heritage. It's pretty sweet when Rachel realizes that she's not the only kid who doesn't celebrate Christmas, and I love how much she "grows up" by the last page of book.
As a parent, I really enjoyed DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN, but more importantly, I think this picture book is terrific for kids of all cultures! Children who don't celebrate Christmas will relate to Rachel and appreciate her feelings, while kids who do celebrate Christmas can learn something about the Jewish faith and their celebrations.
Overall, DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN is a wonderful picture book that is funny, heartwarming and educational. Highly recommended!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.
Giveaway alert: I have two copies of DEAR SANTA, LOVE, RACHEL ROSENSTEIN courtesy of Penguin Random House -- one to keep, and one to share. To enter, just fill out the form below before Friday, November 27th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only! Good luck!
Andrea Troyer grew up in Minnesota and received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young boys.
Christine Davenier is the illustrator of many children's books, including Julie Andrews's "The Very Fairy Princess" series. She lives in Paris, France.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!