"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: THE ANIMALS' SANTA by Jan Brett (C)

by Jan Brett
Release date: October 21st, 2014
Published by: Putnam Juvenile (Penguin)
Genre: Children's Story and Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover from the publisher. 


When Big Snowshoe tells Little Snow that the animals’ Santa is coming with presents for everyone, Little Snow wants to know who he is. The animals say they have never seen him.  Maybe he’s a badger, a moose, a polar bear, or a wolf, they tell him.  But this spunky little rabbit thinks they are just fooling him.

On Christmas Eve, Big Snowshoe finds a way to see the animals' Santa when a Snowy Owl in a red cap swoops down with a pack full of presents.  Never again will an excited Little Snow doubt that there is an animals' Santa.


Jan Brett is one of our most favorite children's writers and illustrators to date. Her books are so intricate, yet inviting and heartwarming. Her beautifully woven stories are fables that are thought-provoking and memorable...

In THE ANIMALS' SANTA, Big Snowshoe and his forest friends try to explain to his little brother, Little Snow, that the animals' Santa is coming. Little Snow wants to know who the animals' Santa is. But none of the animals have ever seen who it is that brings them presents every Christmas. 
The animals then proceed to tell Little Snow all the gifts they had received the year before. But Little Snow is convinced that it is all not true. Wouldn't someone have seen him by now? Or seen his tracks in the snow? All the animals then try to guess as to who the animals' Santa may be, since there is always snow at Christmas they begin to presume that it has to be large animals that can plow through the elements. But Little Snow gets upset, he is still unconvinced and thinks that everyone is teasing him and trying to trick him into believing in something that no one has seen.
On Christmas Eve, when they all go to bed, Big Snowshoe comes up with an idea... and soon enough, they are all awaken to a beautiful discovery!

The story itself is engaging and beautiful, however, the illustrations really bring it to life. Throughout the book, the larger panels support the main narrative between Little Snow, Big Snowshoe and the other animals. But on each page, there are smaller panels telling a smaller, quieter story that will engage your little ones curiosity - this side story will encourage your child to create their own story and make their own predictions as to who the animals' Santa could possibly be. 

All who love children's stories, pictures books and memorable holiday stories to share with their families will absolutely fall in love with this new heartfelt and joyous Christmas book.

*I received a hardcover copy from the publisher for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own.


With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real." 
As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting." 
Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books." 

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