Wednesday, December 18, 2019

The Great Santa Stakeout by Betsy Bird, illustrated by Dan Santat

I'm biased since he's one of my favorites, but nothing beats Dan Santat's illustrations. Here, his work is perfectly paired with a whimsical story by Betsy Bird about Freddy, who is Santa's biggest fan. Freddy has all the Santa merchandise and Christmas paraphernalia you could think of, but he's desperate for a selfie with the man himself. He hatches a devious plot and draws up plans to delay Santa and make sure he gets a picture.

This story is so silly to read aloud, and as I said, I always love Santat's illustrations. I can't wait to read more picture books by Bird.

As a former public librarian and current school librarian, I'm pretty thoughtful about what holiday books I read to children. I don't want to highlight one holiday and ignore another, so a careful balance is necessary. This book should definitely be added in to any rotation of winter holiday stories, because whether the listeners celebrate Christmas or not, they can enjoy the details of Freddy's Santa-catching plan and relate to loving a famous figure so much, you'll do anything to meet them!

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