Letter from Santa Claus
by Robin Jones

"Did your mommy or daddy ever tell you how I get my elves? They didn’t? Well, I’ll tell you right now."

Young Robin, only five years old, becomes weak with sickness and has to be admitted to the hospital. The doctors determine that he has a serious case of pneumonia, and he ends up spending the entirety of 1949 in a hospital in Toronto, Ontario. Despite working all day, his father always visits and reads Robin stories in bed. Robin’s favorite story is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and so as Christmas approaches, Robin thinks to write Santa Claus to see how he is doing and to check in on Rudolph, as well. To Robin’s surprise, Santa pens a response, letting Robin into the know on the goings-on at the North Pole as they prepare for Santa’s Christmas journey.

This tale of love, support, and positive thinking will delight children any time of the year. At its heart, this is an uplifting story filled with childlike hope and the magic of Santa Claus. However, the many layers here could serve as a boon to very specific types of people. The presence of Santa Claus makes this an ideal story to read children around the holidays. At the same time, the medical advancements of Robin’s time make his recovery arduous but possible, offering a message of hope to sick children spending long periods of time under the roof of a hospital. As the book uses small bits of text and large, soft illustrations, this could also be a great read-along book for young readers, provided that parents give them help with tricky vocabulary words like “pneumonia.” Kids will love to discover Santa’s secrets and be comforted that sickness can be overcome in this story-time-sized book.

Return to USR Home