written & illustrated by Heath McKenzie
Lake Press, Hawthorn, 2020
Age group: 4 to 7 years
Format: 32 page hardcover picture book
I spotted a display of Christmas books yesterday and wanted to see what these personalised books are like. I grabbed the Hannah version to give a friend as our family’s names were not available.
Hannah tries to peak at some Christmas presents but tries to pass it off as looking for ideas on what to give her family. Unfortunately, this sets off a string of incidents that need explaining
Originally, there was just ‘Dear Santa I can explain‘ which was first published back in 2017. Now, there is a series of these books that are personalised a bit so the main character’s name could be Hannah, Aria, Thomas or Michael, and so on. Or you could choose ‘my son/grandson’ or ‘my daughter/granddaughter’, which is good as the range of names isn’t extensive (understandably).
The pictures tell this story, with the text just leading your interpretation of what is happening. I enjoyed it more on the second reading because I caught more of the story in the pictures. Instead of a spilt drink being the issue, that is Hannah realising her sister would like a new outfit, and so on. The pictures are detailed and the expression of Hannah’s family’s faces are quite funny.
It will certainly stand out to Santa as one of the more creative letters he receives! Hannah doesn’t just explain her actions but also asks Santa for gift ideas. She doesn’t ask for anything for herself though!