By Joanna Wolper, for The Children’s Book Review
Published: December 1, 2009
Author Showcase: A place for authors and illustrators to gain visibility for their works.*
“A delightful holiday story that will rekindle the excitement about the existence of Santa Claus. Children who read this book may look at their own neighbors and ponder the hidden identities behind their everyday persona’s.
Based on a true family adventure full of mystery and imagination, The Man Who Could Be Santa is the story of three children vacationing with their grandparents in Vermont who suspect that their neighbor might be Santa Claus.
The children form a “spy club” to find out if the man who lives down the street with the long white beard, a belly that shakes like jelly and a bunch of reindeer in his front yard is the same person who slides down their chimneys every Christmas.
The three young detectives find other clues: a Christmas tree farm down the road, a ham radio that receives messages from the North Pole and remote control model air planes which deliver toys to children all over the world.
The story is told from the point of view of Abby, who is six and ¾ years old. Abby insists she will believe in Santa Claus even when she is in “the hundredth grade.”
The Man Who Could Be Santa is an intergenerational tale of old fashioned family values with up-to-date characters that puts the heart back into the holidays. Abby, her brother, Ben, and cousin Chad, discover that Santa does much more than deliver toys. He teaches people to share love and spread happiness everywhere.
To make certain that the children’s dialog was authentic, author Joanna Wolper used documentary film techniques. She conducted classroom workshops with over a hundred students in second, third and fourth grade classes.
The young students discarded what they called “parent words.” They also discussed how they liked stories that let them “escape to imaginary places that were safe.” They also wanted characters “who they could be friends with.” No matter where in the world the children came from, they all wanted to believe in Santa Claus.
A website complements The Man Who Could be Santa, adding fun and interaction. www.themanwhocouldbesanta.com includes a Christmas tree with ornaments that turn into real characters, comments from kids, print and color illustrations and an audio clip of the main character Abby Miller reading from the book, with Santa himself.
About Joanna Wolper
Author Joanna Wolper is an Emmy Award-winning writer, host and producer/director of television news documentaries and entertainment programs. She wrote and directed a weekly children’s series for ABC-TV and has a Masters Degree in educational theater from New York University.
Wolper produced features for the in-school Channel One Network, created a live show at the New York Public Library for The National Inventors Hall of Fame museum honoring the best young scientists in the world and has written columns for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Her humor essays appear in several college textbooks.
The Man Who Could Be Santa is published by Royal Fireworks Press, the world’s largest publisher of books for gifted and talented students. The book is now available directly from the publisher and you can get it by clicking Where to Buy on the author’s website. The book is also available on Barnes and Noble.com.
*Titles featured in the Author Showcase have not been reviewed by The Children’s Book Review, and reflect the thoughts of the author, illustrator, or publishing company.