Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.
Santa Can Be Any Color for All Children
What Color Is Santa?
Nancy Redd's The Real Santa is a delightful picture book that is especially for African-American children who sometimes wonder what Santa looks like. We rarely see a black Santa in the malls or at events. But in reality, Santa can be any color that a child perceives him to be.
This little boy loves Santa and Christmas. He sees pictures of Santa all over his house during the holiday season. He even has a Christmas sweater with Santa's picture on it. Santa is also featured as black in his home. His family has a collection of Santas for the mantel. He wonders which is the real Santa. Mom says that she doesn't think that Santa wants anyone to know what he looks like. They set out the cookies and milk for Santa's arrival. He decides to stay up all night to try to get a picture of the real Santa. He falls asleep and dreams about all kinds of Santas. A surprise ending will let the little boy see that the real Santa looks just like him.
Charmelle Pinkney Barlow contributed her talents as an illustrator with each illustration of the Christmas celebration presented in Christmas colors. The Real Santa is the perfect gift for African- American children who wonder if Santa could really look like them.
The Real Santa was published by Random House Kids and is recommended for ages 4-8. It has an ISBN of 978-0-593-17814-0.
Illustrations in Christmas Colors for the Season
Bring The Real Santa Into the Classroom for the Holidays
Teachers who teach young students will want to add this holiday book to their classroom library. Nancy Redd's The Real Santa is a great choice for a multicultural conversation. Most black children have asked the question of Santa's color at one time or another. A black Santa is rarely seen. Santa can actually be any color that a child invisions him to be. The Real Santa is a wonderful choice to teach this concept that Santa can be any color that a child wishes him to be.
*Read The Real Santa in a story time session. Call attention to the Christmas items that are in the family's home for the holidays.
*Engage children in a discussion of the Christmas items that they have in their home.
*Call attention to the collection of Santas in the story that are placed on the mantel.
*Engage your students in a discussion about their ideas of what Santa looks like. Do they think that Santa could be black?
*Invite a dad from one of the African-American families in your school to dress as Santa to visit the classroom.
*Prepare art materials for children to draw their idea of what Santa looks like.
*Collect other books that feature pictures of Santa from other countries. Santa might look different to children in other countries of the world. Santa also might dress differently in other countries. Santa can come in a wide variety of looks and clothes.
*Prepare a cooking activity to decorate cookies for Santa.
*Engage students in a discussion about how they feel about seeing so many Santas around their town during the holidays. Do they wonder which is the real Santa? Older students will have a wide variety of opinions about the real Santa.
*Take a class poll of the number of students who have ever tried to stay awake to see what the real Santa looks like.
*Engage students in a creative writing activity for them to describe what they think the real Santa looks like.
*Present the opportunity for children to bring in an item with Santa's picture on it. how many different ways is Santa portrayed in items that are in homes or stores for the holidays?
© 2021 Cindy Hewitt