Santa and Believing in Hilarious Christmas Picture Book for the Season
What Would Happen if Santa Stopped Believing in Children?
Belief is Important for the Season!
The question of belief in Santa comes around every season for some children. Parents are familiar with this age-old question, expecially as children get older. This question that older children might raise becomes a real problem if there are also young children in the home. Parents must navigate this all-important question at Christmas. Picture books can help with this discussion and Maureen Fergus's The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold is a fun tool to use this season if you are experiencing this age-old question with your children.
Santa sends out a memo to his helpers with an urgent question. Santa is questioning his belief in a little boy named Harold. He is greatly disturbed by this sudden disbelief in Harold. Harold has always been a big part of Santa's Christmas but now he wonders about things with Harold that really do not make sense. He thinks that Harold's mom writes his letters to Santa. Mrs. Claus wonders if that really makes a difference. Santa also wonders about the snack and thinks that Harold's dad might actually be putting out the snack. Mrs. Claus reminds Santa that Harold is getting older and Santa thinks that his parents are actually trying to trick Harold into believing in him. This is the question that all older children eventually pose to their parents.
Mrs. Claus tells Santa that he is just looking for ideas that Harold might not really be a believer and that Santa should not believe in Harold either. Even the reindeer are no longer convinced that Harold is real! Harold is also spending time now wondering if Santa is real. The hilarious ending for both Santa and Harold is that both discover that each one is actually real.
Cale Atkinson contributed his talents as an illustrator for this fun read-aloud for the Christmas season. Colorful illustrations add to the delight of the story and the realization that believing during this season is important.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold was published by Tundra Books, a division of Penguin/Random House Young Readers. It is recommended for ages 8-10. It has an ISBN of 978-1-77049-824-2.
Delightful and Colorful Illustrations Help Tell the Story
Santa for the Classroom
My favorite time of year when I was in the classroom was the Christmas season. Picture books were always my go-to-tool for reading activities to keep children engaged in learning when the Christmas season rolled around. The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold offers some fun ideas for activities during this hectic time in the classroom.
*Read The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold in a story time session. Call attention to Santa's problem of wondering if Harold is real.
*Take a class poll of children in the class who might be questioning the reality of Santa. This works best if you are using the book in a class with older children.
*Take a class poll of children who write letters to Santa. How many actually still mail a letter to Santa each year?
*How many children still put out snacks for Santa? How many still attend a visit to Santa at a mall or other outlet in the community? It is always fun to find out what older children think.
*Assign a creative writing assignment for children to write a story about the reality of Santa. What would happen to Christmas magic if Santa is not real? Mrs. Claus tells Santa that he should think of Harold as just one of the magical parts of Christmas.
*Engage students in a cooking activity to make cookies for Santa. Invite students to bring plain cookies baked at home for the class to decorate for Santa. Provide decorating items for the students to use. They may eat their cookies or take them home to put out for Santa.
*Assign a creative writing assignment for students to write a letter to Santa.
*Engage the students in a discussion of how many would take the chance of not believing in Santa. This could turn out to be a hilarious discussion with the students. Older children sometimes do not want to take the chance of not believing.
Merry Christmas and enjoy fun read-alouds this season!