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There's A Book

Yes, Virginia: There Is A Santa Claus by Chris Plehal and Illustrated by James Bernardin

Published by HarperCollins

Pages: 32

Ages: 3-7

Publishers Summary: In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote the New York Sun to ask a simple question: Is there a Santa Claus? The editor’s response was a stirring defense of hope, generosity, and the spirit of childhood. His essay has been reprinted countless times since, and the phrase “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” has become part of American Christmas lore.

Based on these actual events, Yes, Virginia is the story of a little girl who taught a city to believe.

“It’s Christmas time again, but for some reason the people in New York are gloomier than usual. The streets are filled with piles of snow, slushy and black and no one seems to be in the holiday mood. Everyone that is, except for Virginia. Virginia is a true believer in Christmas and all things hopeful. This year Virginia even made her own Santa book, but when her fellow schoolmates laughed at her and mocked her for her unwavering belief in Santa Claus she’s crushed. When all else fails, she writes a letter to the New York Sun, determined to get an answer and know for sure if Santa Claus truly exists.

“I think more than anything this story reminds me of my mother. I don’t know why, maybe because I’ve heard her reference this story when I was a child, but probably more because she’s a collector of Santas. She has gobs of them all over her home and if get the chance I try to add to her collection each year. If I’ve ever known anyone in my life who resembles this little Virginia it would be my mom. No matter what she’s gone through in her life and how hard it’s been at times, she’s always hopeful. It’s taught me a tremendous amount about the power of faith.

“Now, as for the story, it’s beautiful. Truly. Not only in the story, but the illustrations are just gorgeous. Here’s an image from the interior of the story that truly captures the magic of this little girl:

“And this is just the beginning. I had no idea, but they actually did an entire CBS TV special based on the story. I’ve embedded a preview below and now I’m sad I missed it. Hopefully it will be on during the holidays again sometime, because I’d love to see it!

“This is truly a magical story, based on reality. The reality is there truly was a little girl back in 1897 who wanted to really know if there was a Santa Claus and did write the New York Sun to find out. A book about discovering your inner-child and helping to keep the spark of belief alive. It’s magical, with gorgeous illustrations and a wonderful message that any reader of any age could benefit from. A must read during this holiday season!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 5 and up. A perfect reminder that all you need is to believe. The perfect story for older readers especially.

This book was purchased for our home library.
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8 Responses to Book Review: Yes, Virginia: There Is A Santa Claus by Chris Plehal

  1. Katie says:

    Oh my goodness. I’ve always loved that story and the video was just too precious. I hope it comes out on dvd!

  2. This book is so darling. I seriously want one for my self. Great post!

  3. Gina says:

    So glad to hear this one was as good as it looked! The classic story is heart warming but combined with those whimsical pictures? Sounds fabulous. Thanks for the share and the great review.

  4. Tif says:

    This one looks sooooo cute! Gonna add it to my list for next year!

  5. […] I definitely plan to continue reading a few current favorites and add to those as the years go by. Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus by Chris Plehal and Illustrated by James Bernardin is one that we’ve been reading since last year and the entire family loves it. For me, it […]

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