Santa Stories

When the calendar page turns over to December, many children eagerly begin to count the days until Christmas and the arrival of Santa Claus. The following stories about Santa Claus provide humor, suspense, and holiday cheer for kids who can’t wait until the 25th!
Picture Books
Alsenas, Linas
Mrs. Claus Takes a Vacation. 2006.
Tired of all the snow at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus takes a world tour before Christmas one year.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. Al783m]

DePaola, Tommie.
Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? 2004.
A houseful of relatives turns “Mrs. C.” and Santa’s Christmas into a string of surprises, from the arrival of a pet polar bear to Cousin James B.’s flaming plum pudding.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. D44g]

Dunham, Terri
The Legend of Papa Noel: a Cajun Christmas Story. 2006.
This Cajun version of Santa’s Christmas Eve deliveries tells of Papa Noël living in a Louisiana swamp and bringing gifts in a boat pulled by alligators along the Mississippi River.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. D92l]

Frazee, Marla
Santa Claus: the World’s Number One Toy Expert. 2005.
Santa Claus has his own ways of knowing more about children and toys than anyone else in the world.
[Center for Children’s Books: Q. SE. F869s]

Joyce, William
Santa Calls. 1993.
Art Aimesworth receives a mysterious summons from Santa Claus and he shares a Christmas adventure with his sister that brings them closer together.
[Education Storage: Q.SE. J856S]

Koontz, Dean
Robot Santa: the Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin. 2004.
Bob Claus tries to make up for last year’s Christmas havoc by building an android to help his brother, Santa, by delivering toys in a gorilla-driven sleigh, but despite his good intentions, things go horribly wrong.
[Education S Collection: Q. S. K837r]

Krensky, Stephen
How Santa Lost His Job. 2001.
Frustrated by Santa’s slowness at Christmastime, Muckle the elf creates a mechanical replacement called the Deliverator and proposes a series of contests to prove that it can do Santa’s job better than he can.
[Education Storage: SE. K882ho]

Pallota, Jerry
Who Will Help Santa This Year? 2007.
Santa Claus needs help in his workshop, so he advertises for applicants. But the mermaids get the toys wet and the wizards turn Santa into a frog. Just when things look desperate, the elves arrive to save the day, in this humorous peek behind the scenes at the North Pole.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. P179w]

Polacco, Patricia
Welcome Comfort. 1999.
Welcome Comfort, a lonely foster child, is assured by his friend the school custodian that there is a Santa Claus, but he does not discover the truth until one wondrous and surprising Christmas Eve.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. P756w]

Primavera, Elise
Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas. 2002.
When Chris expresses doubt about the existence of Santa Claus, his older sister Sophie reveals that their aunt is really Santa’s sister and helper and then sends him on a strange journey.
[Education Storage: Q. S. P935a]

Slangerup, Erik Jon
Santa and Me. 2005.
Mrs. Merrie H. Claus’s scrapbook shows her life with her husband, Santa Claus, and describes his many Christmas-related activities.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. Sl13s]

Solheim, James
Santa’s Secrets Revealed: All Your Questions Answered About Santa’s Super Sleigh, His Flying Reindeer, and Other Wonders. 2004.
After Stevie tells a reporter that he does not believe in Santa Claus, Santa himself pays him a visit, takes him to the North Pole to show him his operation, and proves that he uses magic as well as science.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. So43s]

Weninger, Brigitte
A Letter to Santa Claus. 2000.
When he learns of Santa Claus from an old calendar, a poor young boy sends off his Christmas wishes tied to a balloon and gets a surprising response.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. W486lu:E]

Wheeler, Lisa
Where, oh Where, is Santa Claus? 2007.
Santa Claus is missing, and a host of arctic animals searches for him in the snow.
[Education S Collection: Q. SE. W5612w]
For Older Readers
Abbott, Tony
Kringle. 2005.
In the fifth century A.D., as order retreats from Britain with the departing Roman Army, orphaned, twelve-year-old Kringle determines to rescue his beloved guardian from the evil goblins who terrorize the countryside by kidnapping and enslaving humans. In the process, with the help of elves and others along the way, Kringle discovers his true destiny.
[Education S Collection: S. Ab292k]

Baum, L. Frank
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. 1986.
Describes the life of Santa Claus from birth through old age and into immortality.
[Education Storage: S. B327LIF1986]

Funke, Cornelia
When Santa Fell To Earth. 2006.
When he and his caravan come crashing down to earth during a thunderstorm two weeks before Christmas, Santa is befriended by two children, Charlotte and Ben, who try to help him save the holiday from the tricks and moneymaking schemes of Gerold Geronimus Goblynch and to take off in time for his annual rounds.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. F964a:E]

Paulsen, Gary
A Christmas Sonata. 1992.
When a little boy spends Christmas with his dying cousin, they discover that Santa really does exist.
[Education Storage: S. P285CH1994]

Ryan, Brittany
The Legend of Holly Claus. 2004.
Santa Claus’s daughter, Holly, comes to Earth seeking an end to the curse cast upon her and the Land of the Immortals by an evil wizard, whose own punishment will end only if Holly willingly gives him her pure heart.
[Education Storage: S. R952l]

Tolkien, J.R.R.
The Father Christmas Letters. 1976.
A collection of illustrated letters from Father Christmas recapping the activities of the preceding year at the North Pole. The letters were written by the author to his children.
[Undergrad Call Number: 823 T57FA]

Winter Holiday Books

Winter is a time for many holiday traditions around the world. Join in the celebration and learn about other cultures through stories, games, and craft projects! The following is a sample of fiction and non-fiction winter holiday titles that can be found in the Education S-Collection. Also included are search tips for finding additional titles, and useful websites for further exploration.

Hanukkah (Chanukah) – Judaism
December 15, 2006-December 23, 2006

Benderly, Beryl Lieff
Jason’s Miracle: a Hanukkah Story. 2000.
Twelve-year-old Jason has ambivalent feelings about Hanukkah until he finds himself transported back to the time of the Maccabean revolt in Judea.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.B4321j

Hughes, Monica.
My Hanukkah. 2004.
Illustrations and simple text describe how one family celebrates Hanukkah.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.296.4 H874m

Kimmel, Eric A.
The Jar of Fools: Eight Hanukkah Stories from Chelm. 2000.
Drawing on traditional Jewish folklore, these Hanukkah stories relate the antics of the people of Chelm, thought – perhaps incorrectly – to be a town of fools.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.K571j

Newman, Leslea.
The Eight Nights of Chanukah. 2005.
The wondrous days of Chanukah come to life through the eyes of a young child, whose family gathering grows bigger and bigger as the holiday progresses.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.296.435 N346e

Winter Solstice (Yule) – Various
December 21, 2006

Jackson, Ellen.
The Winter Solstice. 1994.
Presents facts and folklore about the shortest day of the year, a day that has been filled with magic since ancient times.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: Q.S. 394.2683 J133W

Pfeffer, Wendy.
The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice. 2003.
Describes how and why daylight grows shorter as winter approaches, the effect of shorter days on animals and people, and how the winter solstice has been celebrated throughout history. Includes activities.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.261 P475s

Christmas – Christianity
December 25, 2006

Lankford, Mary D.
Christmas Around the World. 1998.
(From Booklist, 9/15/95) “…looks at the rich diversity of Christmas traditions found in 12 distinctly different cultures…the book features a small selection of craft activities (with step-by-step instructions and diagrams), a helpful pronunciation guide, and an interesting selection of Christmas superstitions.”
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2663 L276c1998

Rau, Dana Meachen.
Christmas. 2000.
Introduces the many aspects of Christmas, including its history, customs, meaning, and the way people celebrate it today.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2663 R19c

Whybrow, Ian.
The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories. 2004
An anthology of fourteen Christmas stories, both previously published and newly commissioned, by such authors as Louisa May Alcott and William Dean Howells, and illustrated by such artists as Anna C. Leplar and Paolo D’Altan.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.K592

Wilson, Karma.
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger. 2005.
Unhappy in his cramped, cold hole, Mortimer Mouse moves into a nativity scene thinking it is the perfect home for him, until he discovers who truly belongs there.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.W694mo

Kwanzaa – African Heritage
December 26, 2006-January 1, 2007

Chocolate, Deborah M. Newton.
A Very Special Kwanzaa. 1996.
Charlie’s school is holding a Kwanzaa festival, and he doesn’t want to be any part of it because last year he was made fun of when he participated. But Charlie soon learns that Kwanzaa is a celebration of creativity and caring, of family and friends, that Kwanzaa can be a pretty special time – for everyone.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.C4512V

Medearis, Angela Shelf.
Seven Spools of Thread: a Kwanzaa Story. 2000.
When they are given the seemingly impossible task of turning thread into gold, the seven Ashanti brothers put aside their differences, learn to get along, and embody the principles of Kwanzaa. Includes information on Kwanzaa, West African cloth weaving, and instructions for making a belt.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.M4672s

Murray, Julie.
Kwanzaa. 2003.
An introduction to the history, purpose, and observance of Kwanzaa.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.261 M964k

Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
Seven Candles for Kwanzaa. 1998.
Describes the origins and practices of Kwanzaa, the seven-day festival during which people of African descent rejoice in their ancestral values.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.268 P655s1998

New Year’s Day – Various
January 1, 2007

Erlbach, Arlene.
Happy New Year, Everywhere! 2000.
Describes New Year greetings and customs from twenty countries and includes games, recipes and craft projects.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.394.2614 Er52h

Imler, Kathryn A.
New Year’s Day. 2003.
A basic introduction to how and why New Year’s Day is celebrated as a holiday.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: S.394.2614 Im5n

Rau, Dana Meachen.
New Year’s Day. 2000.
Discusses the history, customs, and celebrations of New Year’s Day.
Location: Education Storage
Call Number: S.394.2614 R19n

Chinese New Year
Februrary 18, 2007 (Year of the Pig)

Hoyt-Goldsmith, Diane.
Celebrating Chinese New Year. 1998.
Depicts a San Francisco boy and his family preparing for and enjoying their celebration of Chinese New Year, their most important holiday.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.394.261 H854c

Bouchard, Dave.
The Dragon New-Year: a Chinese Legend. 1999.
Frightened into sleeplessness by the noisy celebration of the Chinese New Year, a young girl takes comfort in her grandmother’s soothing story of a dragon, a mother’s sorrow, and Buddha.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: Q.S.398.20951 B66d

Katz, Karen.
My First Chinese New Year. 2004.
Chinese New Year is a time of new beginnings. Follow one little girl as she learns how to welcome the coming year and experience all the festivities surrounding it.
Location: Education S-Collection
Call Number: SE.K159my

Search tips
Want to see more? Use the following subject headings to search the UIUC catalog:
Hanukkah — juvenile literature
Hanukkah — juvenile fiction
Winter solstice — juvenile literature
Christmas — juvenile fiction
Christmas — juvenile literature
Kwanzaa — juvenile fiction
Kwanzaa — juvenile literature
New Year — juvenile literature
Chinese New Year — juvenile fiction
Chinese New Year — juvenile literature

The following websites provide further information, along with craft and game ideas

Springfield Library’s Winter Holidays Website
Waterboro Public Library’s Resources for Winter Holidays Page
Kid’s Domain Winter Fun Website