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Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein

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Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein

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Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
By Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer
Illustrated by Christine Davenier
Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-553-51061-4

Reviewed by Anna Dogole - October 26, 2015

Rachel Rosenstein loves Christmas, and all she wants is for Santa to come to her house, even though she's Jewish. But as Rachel discovers, even in a fairy tale, you cannot always get what you want. Most important, not getting what you want can have a positive outcome...

Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is a charming and humorous tale of a little girl who is struggling to understand why she cannot celebrate Christmas like the majority of people around. Using humor as a foil to tackle this ofttimes tricky subject, the authors, Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, show the steps that Rachel takes to ensure that Santa comes to visit, and what happens when he fails to show up to eat his chocolate-chip infused latkes.

Growing up as a minority, within a culture that spends months preparing for a glitzy holiday, can get under your skin. For some, it is simply annoying. For others, they may want to join in doing x, y, and z, just like everyone else. After all, you're not hurting anyone. Or are you? This can be especially hard for a child to understand, and if handled incorrectly, could make the child dislike their own culture and religion. For Rachel, by the end of the story, she learns that she is not alone, that there are lots of kids that don't celebrate Christmas. She discovers that each of the non-Christmas-celebrating children that she meets celebrate their own special holidays, just like she has Hanukkah, and Rosh Hashanah, and the Sabbath, and the numerous other Jewish holidays that enliven the Jewish year.

Filled with energetic illustrations by Christine Davenier, Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is a perfect read-out-loud book, and a book for new readers to practice their skills. This book can also serve as a jumping-off-point for discussions with your own children about being different, and what it means to honor, and develop, their own self and cultural identities. In addition, this book can also be used to introduce non-Jewish readers to Jewish cultural traditions.

In short, Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is a fun and lively book to read and it will make a great addition to both home and school libraries.

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