Santa From Cincinnati by Judi Barrett

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As if we needed further proof that Ohio is a special state, now comes news that Santa Claus, surely the most popular person in the world, is from Cincinnati! After everything we heard about Ohio’s importance in electing a President, this news about Santa kind of seals the deal.  Santa From Cincinnati, Judi Barrett’s new picture book about how Santa grew up to become arguably the most giving person in history, is clever and loads of fun. This is a perfect book to read aloud after decorating the Christmas tree and making hot chocolate.

Santa narrates his own story: “I was born Baby Boy Claus at 12:02 am at the Cincinnati General Hospital on December 25, many, many, many, years ago.”  He goes on to describe his boyhood – being obsessed with toys, his first job as a newspaper boy with “a cannon-type of toy that shot newspapers right smack onto people’s doorsteps,” and finally realizing that he wanted to share his thousands of beloved toys. The rest is history.

Santa From Cincinnati is illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, and his colorful double-page spreads have many fun details. One of my favorites is on a scrapbook-style page where Santa’s report card is visible. He receives an A+++ in Geography, but a C in Math!

I used to have a t-shirt that said: “Santa Stops in Ohio First.”  Now I know why!

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