Dear Santa, Please Come to the 19th Floor

Overview

Willy wants to cheer his best friend, Carlos, up. And what better way to do so than a Christmas visit from Santa Claus himself? But when Santa answers Willy's e-mail pleading with him to visit the 19th floor of their inner-city apartment building, he doesn't quite know what is in store for him. Yin and Chris Soentpiet, the author-illustrator pair who created the ALA notable Coolies, bring us a heartwarming and modern Christmas story with the lush illustrations that Soentpiet ...

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Puffin, 09/29/2011, Paperback, Good condition.

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Overview

Willy wants to cheer his best friend, Carlos, up. And what better way to do so than a Christmas visit from Santa Claus himself? But when Santa answers Willy's e-mail pleading with him to visit the 19th floor of their inner-city apartment building, he doesn't quite know what is in store for him. Yin and Chris Soentpiet, the author-illustrator pair who created the ALA notable Coolies, bring us a heartwarming and modern Christmas story with the lush illustrations that Soentpiet fans have come to love.

Willy and Carlos, who is in a wheelchair, receive a visit from Santa on Christmas Eve, even though they live on the nineteenth floor of their building.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Santa never comes here to this neighborhood," says Willy, a Hispanic boy who lives in a high rise. Nevertheless, Willy secretly e-mails Santa a request to visit his dejected best friend: "My pal Carlos is in a wheelchair now and could use a good surprise." Carlos, meanwhile, lobbies Santa on Willy's behalf. Santa indeed shows up on Christmas Eve bearing gifts-and hope. Yin's tale treads a bit heavily, but the urban setting is a welcome addition to the season's lineup. Soentpiet's brings high-wattage lighting and a high-contrast palette to his realistic watercolor scenes. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-Best friends Willy and Carlos live in a rundown apartment building in a rough urban neighborhood populated by winos as well as hardworking neighbors. Carlos, who has had a spinal-cord injury and is in a wheelchair, is angry and depressed, believing he will never be able to play basketball again, so Willy e-mails Santa with a special request on behalf of his friend. When he looks out his window on Christmas Eve, he sees Santa parallel park his sleigh across the street and rushes down to meet him. They find that the elevator is broken and climb the 19 floors, handing out gifts along the way, including a new basketball for Carlos, when they reach his apartment. This is a powerful, poignant book about dignity and hope in the midst of poverty and despair. Soentpiet's beautiful, realistic watercolor illustrations contrast starkly with the gritty setting, complementing the mood of the text. This is lengthy for a picture book, yet it is a successful combination of fantasy and realism with an important underlying message: the real gift is that of hope.-M. W. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Yin and Soentpiet collaborate for the second time (Coolies, 2001) with this long first-person story narrated by a Hispanic boy named Willy. His best friend, Carlos, is in a wheelchair due to an unspecified accident, and they both live in a New York City high-rise apartment building in a neighborhood that Willy calls "scary and rough." Willy sends Santa an e-mail asking for a gift for Carlos, and Carlos does the same for Willy. On Christmas Eve, Santa arrives in the street outside and, after a long climb up 19 flights of stairs, shedding his garb along the way, gives Carlos a basketball (even though he can’t use it in his wheelchair) and Willy a telescope. The basketball and Santa’s visit are supposed to give the boys hope, and perhaps they shall, though it’s a stretch. Soentpiet’s realistic watercolor illustrations give each character an individual personality, and Santa seems quite real, especially when he arrives in the street, as he struggles to make it up the stairs with his pack of heavy gifts, and in the cover illustration as he looks at his computer screen. Though the overall story is a touch sentimental, its realistic urban setting, not seen enough in picture books, will help it find its audience. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142419311
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/29/2011
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 years
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Yin lives in Queens, New York.
At the age of eight, I was adopted with my older sister from Korea to live with an American family in Hawaii. When I was 22 years old, I had the opportunity to visit my Korean brother and sisters for the first time since I was adopted . It was a happy reunion. (A book about my adoption will be released in due course.) More about my background can be found in several newspaper publications such as the Daily News and the New York Newsday.

I graduated with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I studied Advertising, Illustrations, Graphic Design and Art Education. But painting has always been my passion.

With encouragement and guidance from my good friend, author and illustrator, Ted Lewin, I took my portfolio along with some original paintings around New York City. The first ten publishers I visited did not have work for me until I stepped into the office of Lothrop, Lee & Shephard (acquired by: Harper-Collins Publishers). They have given me my first opportunity to illustrate and author my first children's picture book, Around Town.

My books reflect my interest in people, history and its culture. As with all my historical books, researching at the library plays an important role in illustrating the accuracy of the details I paint into each spread. After researching is complete, I hire models to play the parts of the main characters. Using models allows me to achieve a realistic and consistent look from page to page. Based on my research, I have to make the costumes if necessary. I also act as the model's hairdresser and makeup artist. Once I have taken the photographs, I'll use it as a tool to help me during the painting process. This order resembles much of my idol, whom I like to think of myself as an incarnation of the infamous Norman Rockwell.

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