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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Long Ago One December by Alicia M. McLain and Charles G. Menk III is set against the backdrop of December, the Christmas season, and the myth that surrounds Santa Claus. Nathan loves Christmas and, like everybody else, he looks forward to receiving Christmas presents from Santa Claus. Nathan overhears a conversation in school which is about the non-existence of Santa Claus and his flying reindeer. That night when his father tucks him into bed, Nathan asks him about Santa Claus and who puts the presents under the Christmas tree. His father then tells him about Santa Claus and the true meaning of Christmas.
The story is informative and insightful and readers learn that Christmas is not just about Santa Claus, toys, elves, and reindeer, but it is about what God has given to everyone on that day in December a long time ago. The pictures are charming and adorable and send the message and concept loud and clear to readers. Nathan’s character is real and relatable to children and his query about Santa Claus and the flying reindeer is something that crosses the mind of almost every child. It is a perfect Christmas gift for children and the story can be used in classrooms and school libraries for read aloud sessions, especially during the month of December. The author beautifully explains the true meaning of Christmas and the tradition of St. Nicholas. It is definitely a must-read for children as it helps them understand the relationship between the true meaning of Christmas, Santa Claus, and the flying reindeer.