Santa’s husband – Christmas book review

Santa’s husbandCover of book Santa's husband

by Daniel Kibblesmith
illustrated by AP Quach
Harper Design, New York, 2017

Age group:

3 or 4 years and up, but read the review first!

Newly released, this is a different take on the Santa story!

The story

Described as the true story of Mr and Mr Claus, this book tells about the real Santa and how is helped by his husband.

My review

I loved this book, but am aware that others may not like the content and I strongly recommend reading it before sharing it with children (so you are prepared for any questions that may arise).

Ready for the shock? In this book, Santa is both black and gay. The Santa we are used to seeing is actually Santa’s white husband, named David. Personally, I have no issues with either coloured skin or gays so this didn’t bother me – but if it does bother you, this book will challenge you.
Inside peak at Santa's husband

For younger children, it can just be another version of Santa. For children a bit older, it can also be a catalyst for some interesting and important conversations (gay marriage, racism, dietary restrictions, differences between Santa images and why people get angry about such things). For adults, it is surprising, refreshing and funny!

There is some humour included which makes it fun for adults without being inappropriate for younger readers, such as keeping each other cosy in winter and sooty footprints all over the floor annoying Santa!

Quach has drawn some colourful and engaging pictures of Santa and his husband, and the writing itself is well done.

Overall, the book has a number of positive messages – primarily, acceptance of differences (“Who is anyone to say what the real Santa looks like?”) but also the concepts of working together and making up after disagreements.

I think this is a fantastic Christmas book that should be in every home.

One Response to Santa’s husband – Christmas book review

  • To update this review…
    I read this book with 7 and 9 year olds, who both enjoyed it. At first there was surprise at seeing a black Santa, but my seven year old grinned as soon as she saw Santa’s husband, being the more common image of Santa. SHe got excited and said “Oh, that means that I’m allowed to marry my friends then!” so immediately understood the implications of Mr and Mr Claus (of course, this is in the environment of the current same sex marriage vote currently underway in Australia). Mention of a dental plan confused my children (this is a very American concept that I only know of through movies and TV shows) but otherwise they enjoyed and understood the story. My seven year old was upset on the last page because she wanted more of the story.

    Then my sixteen year old read it, wondering why I gave her a picture book! She LOVED it. She expected more about climate change after an early comment about the years getting warmer, but was pleased it covered some other issues. The wedding picture impressed her as it had so many ‘celebrities’ shown, including the Pope, a rabbi, the tooth fairy, Jesus, a woman suspiciously like Michelle Obama, a leprechaun and man she thinks is Abraham Lincoln. The story is simple, the pictures detailed and a great message is given without any preaching or moralising.

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