Review: Santa in the City

Posted December 15, 2021 by Richetta in #ownvoices, Book Reviews, Children's Books / 0 Comments

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Review: Santa in the CitySanta in the City by Tiffany D. Jackson
Published by Penguin on November 2 2021
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Family / General, Juvenile Fiction / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent, Juvenile Fiction / Lifestyles / City & Town Life
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover
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A little girl's belief in Santa is restored in this ode to the magic of Christmas. This is a holiday gift readers will treasure for years to come!

It's two weeks before Christmas, and Deja is worried that Santa might not be able to visit her--after all, as a city kid, she doesn't have a chimney for him to come down and none of the parking spots on her block could fit a sleigh, let alone eight reindeer! But with a little help from her family, community, and Santa himself, Deja discovers that the Christmas spirit is alive and well in her city.

With bold, colorful illustrations that capture the joy of the holidays, this picture book from award-winning author Tiffany D. Jackson and illustrator Reggie Brown is not to be missed.

Also by this author: White Smoke, The Weight of Blood

My Favorite New Addition to My Kids’ Christmas Shelves

As a child, if you celebrate Christmas, you will inevitably have questions about how Santa Claus operates. For some kids, they will get their answers from The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore. But for a lot of children, who don’t live in what marketing campaigns consider the ideal spot for Santa to land –a house with a chimney — they are often left to wonder how in the world this Santa thing will work out for them.

So Many Questions!

This is why this book is so awesome! The main character, Deja, is challenged by all of the common questions a kid who lives in the city would have about how Santa could exist.

“How does he get into your apartment when there’s no chimney?”

Give Mamas Their Props for Maintaining Christmas Joy

Deja’s mom is the real MVP in this story. For every question she has really cool magical explanation. As I was reading it with my kids, I was sitting there like, “Huh? That’s pretty good! I wouldn’t have thought about that!” So shout out to Tiffany D. Jackson’s mom, whom I believe Deja’s mom is modeled after. Those were some good explanations lady!

Santa is Here For All The Kids

What is great about this book, is that you can read it with any child, city-dweller or country-runner, and they will enjoy it. Because the beauty of this story is it shows the flexibility of Santa Claus and how he includes all children and not just children who live in certain types of homes. To me that is always the biggest struggle with Santa Claus. How do you include all children in the fun?


I came for… Black Santa!!!

I stayed for… the beautiful illustrations and the fun story about how Santa does visit the city!

Educator Recommendations: This is a great opportunity to read a story that is inclusive of kids in different types of living environments. If you read it in a rural environment, then those kids get to learn about the city. If you read it to city kids they will approach it from the perspective that they actually can fit into a narrative that has often left them out.

Mom Recommendation: This book is a super fun read with your children. If you enjoy the idea of Santa Claus in your house, this is a book that will help kids stretch their imaginations for how different things are possible. While I always recommend books that feature Black people to all cultures. I think this one will be very special to Black moms and Moms of Black children. We are often out there searching for items that feature Black Santa and this one is definitely a keeper. I definitely recommend this as an annual Christmas read.

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