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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
It’s Christmas Eve and siblings Kyzzie, Sweetz and Hunee are heading home from a pleasant visit with their Grandma. Only, these children are not children from Planet Earth. They live on the distant Planet Jutta and their trip home from Grandma’s was in a space ship, as Grandma lived on a planet close to theirs. These children knew nothing about celebrating Christmas; nothing about Santa Claus. So, when their space ship is almost hit by an asteroid and they are steered way off course, becoming lost, they have no idea who the creature is that comes to their rescue in a strange contraption (strange to them) being pulled by even stranger beings that, as Kyzzie describes, “have trees growing on top of their heads.” It’s Santa Claus and his reindeer, of course, but the space children don’t know that, not yet. But they will and their adventure on the beautiful Planet Earth has only just begun.
Author Mary Esparza-Vela has written a delightful Christmas story with an unusual twist. It certainly would appeal to young readers with Denis Proulx’s colorful illustrations. A Visit With Santa is a real treat for a young reader with an active imagination. There is definitely a lot of creativity in this cleverly thought out plot. It introduces to young readers the distinct possibility of life on other planets and, if there is life, there will also be children, young beings of some description. Imagine visiting one’s Grandma in a space ship. That and finding Santa Claus in outer space will definitely spark some enthusiasm in the young reader’s imagination.