29 Nov 2013

DEAR SANTA & A GUINEA PIG NATIVITY.

DEAR SANTA: THE BEST LETTERS EVER WRITTEN TO FATHER CHRISTMAS  by BIRGER SIVERTSON.

SOURCE: Library book.

Every year, the Norwegian postal services receives over 30,000 letters from children and adults from all over the world, addressed to Santa Claus.

The Norwegian postal services has never allowed journalists and authors access to these letters until a few years back, when they granted the Norwegian author Birger Sivertsen access to this treasure chest of letters from every corner of the globe.


Dear Santa is the book he compiled after reading thousands of those letters. From both children and adults these letters range from funny to sad, sweet to rude, greedy to joyful and hopeful. And after reading some of these letters, maybe you'll be inspired to send one yourself when you are done!

...... Inner front cover

FIRST LETTER: Caro Babbo Natale,
I wish not to have holes in my teeth for the rest of my life so I can eat as much candy I want all Christmas.
Christmas hugs from Violetta, Italy.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 10): To Santa, 
What I want most of all is to have my cosy teddy back. I lost him. 
Regards from Karoline, Norway.

MY THOUGHTS: Given that we live in what many consider cynical times in which letter writing is a dying art it was really lovely to find that not only do children still believe in Santa Claus (aka Father Christmas, Babbo Natale, Joulupukki, Shengdan Laoren and so on) but they actually take the time to put pen to paper and write to him.

And its not just adults either. There is a whole section of the book devoted to letters sent by adults.

From children Ashby in Australia who wants Santa and their dad to chip in for a Playstation 2 which their mum says is too expensive to Amy from England who wants Santa to define good and not good. From grown-ups Tore Johannes from Norway whose list includes a minor nuclear bomb and a house on the moon to Lara in Italy who wishes for a letter for her 8 year old daughter who has stopped believing in Santa Claus. From William of Hong Kong who asks for a little snow to Monica of Italy who wants to know if Babbo Natale has teeth like regular people. Dear Santa is funny, sad, and often very telling.



A GUINEA PIG NATIVITY by BLOOMSBURY.

SOURCE: Borrowed from a friend, thanks Pat.

Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, where their only shelter was a lowly stable. When Mary's baby was born she laid him gently in a manger to sleep.

The little child was worshipped by humble shepherds, a host of heavenly angels and three wise men following a brightly shining star.


This is the classic Christmas story ..... as you've never seen it before.

...... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE: Now the birth of Jesus happened like this.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: The cast of characters as shown at the back of the book .....


MY THOUGHTS: The story of the nativity, of the birth of Jesus but with a difference. Yes, as the title suggests the stars of this book are guinea pigs, all of them dressed in costumes that would be the envy of any school nativity play.

An incredibly cute book, a perfect stocking filler that is ideal for all guinea pig lovers. I can't begin to tell you how much oohing and ahhing was to be heard during its reading. However, some of the parents with whom I shared the book questioned the appropriateness of some of the text for younger readers.

Both books were read for the Christmas Spirit 2013 Reading Challenge. Details and Sign Up HERE, Reviews HERE. Level(s) Reached: Candy Cane, Mistletoe, Visions of Sugar Plums.



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10 comments:

Kelly said...

I would imagine the adult section of the first book would include some of the most poignant letters.

The cover on the second is precious. Even though I find it cute, I know there are some who are offended by the idea of presenting a nativity using anything other than humans. My younger daughter collected decorative tea sets as a child and one of our favorites was a Christmas set where the baby Jesus was a tiny little bear.

Tracy Terry said...

Good point Kelly. I had thought of this myself though to be honest the parents I shared the book with were more concerned with having to explain to their children what a virgin was.

By the way you might be interested to know that Pat from whom I lent the book is a C of E vicar.

So many books, so little time said...

I love the idea of the book, I think I might track it down!

Lainy http://www/alwaysreading.net

Mary (Bookfan) said...

The letters book sounds sweet and I'd probably enjoy it.

Brian Joseph said...

I was just thinking about the impact of the modern digital age on letter writing to Santa and wondered what his inbox is like...

That sounds like a great book.

Nikki-ann said...

I love childrens imaginations :)

I create a few letters from Father Christmas at work I work at a printers) for a few of my colleague's children or grandchildren and they love them (as they are always tailored to each individual child).

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

Letters to Santa sounds like such fun. I can imagine laughing out loud and then getting tears in my eyes, too! :) Thanks for sharing. :)

Alexia561 said...

Love the letters to Santa book, as I imagine that some of the letters are priceless! And the guinea pig book looks adorable!

Claudine G. said...

Letters can reveal much, and I'm glad the art of letter-writing hasn't been lost (at least not in this case). Dear Amy from England sounds like a potential philosopher. This would be an interesting book to read. I'm not a huge fan of guinea pigs, but The Guinea Pig Nativity would be a hit with kids who love fluffy friends.

katenread said...

I love collections of letters, so the first is definitely up my alley. And the second? Who can resist guinea pigs in costumes? I can't.

Happy Reading!