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Toronto, Random House of Canada, 1993. 84pp. paper, $9.95
ISBN 1-394-22323-3. CIP

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 1 / Ages 4-6

Reviewed by Pat Butler

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

This collection, subtitled Children's Letters to the North Pole, contains seventy-eight letters (nine in French) written to Santa by children from across Canada. The book celebrates the tenth anniversary of this delightful service offered by Canada Post and their "elves." The program was designed to support literacy by encouraging children to write letters, and, continuing in this vein, any royalties received from the sale of the book go to further the cause of literacy in Canada (no specific agency mentioned). The fore-word in French and English carefully states that Canada Post elves helped Santa respond to one million letters in 1992 alone.

Beginning readers enjoy the challenge of their peers' writing efforts but have a little difficulty with the cursive entries. The pleasure of the book lies in the content of the letters, requests ranging from chemistry sets to world peace. There are also a number of entries dealing with writers' fervent belief, as opposed to that of their colleagues, that Santa really exists. Depending on the age of the reader/listener, this could either create questions or provide support.

There is a place for this book in a large collection. It would be an excellent Christmas gift book for grandparents.

Pat Butler is a freelance librarian living in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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