In the third book of Mollie Wilson’s Rhyme Time series, readers find Santa is helping to take care of our planet and is encouraging everyone to do the same. Santa fills his sleigh with gifts like frankincense and myrrh and elves load regifts on the sleigh in their efforts to protect mountains and streams, fish and wildlife, and forests and coastlines because the greening of our planet is “high on Santa’s list”.
I purchased Santa’s Hat at The Big E this year while visiting with one of my author friends. My five-year-old daughter picked it off the shelf, immediately drawn to the adorable illustrations provided by Toby Mikle. That is, however, where our love affair with the book ended. While our family believes in recycling and doing our part to help save the planet, we were disappointed to find the magic of Christmas and even the Three Wise Men used for political propaganda. Both my girls (the older one is eight) were looking for a more traditional Christmas story, perhaps something on the funny side, based upon the jovial and lighthearted cover art.
I’m fairly certain that the Three Wise Men weren’t carrying frankincense and myrrh because of their love of the earth–if my Bible is to be believed at all–and while I’m thrilled that the elves didn’t end up on the unemployment line after they stopped making toys, where exactly are they picking up all these regifts they are loading onto the sleigh? As a parent I better have a pretty good answer for it to seem believable.
There is no back cover blurb to indicate what the story is about, and in my rush to get the kids out of there I didn’t do my good job as a parent and consumer and skim the pages well enough or pay attention to the recycling symbol on the front cover.
While I applaud the author for her passion, and the book is well-written and the prose lyrical, I honestly feel that certain aspects of childhood shouldn’t be toyed with. The magic of Christmas and the religious symbols of a sacred holiday are two of those things. My children showed no interest in a book that skewed their idea of Christmas in such a way that they couldn’t even appreciate the message.
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂