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Now Santa & Pete restores the legacy in delightful style and ...
Now Santa & Pete restores the legacy in delightful style and delivers an inspiring message of hope and harmony among people. The story starts with a bus driver who takes his grandson along on Saturdays as he travels a historical route in New York City. What unfolds is a series of wonderful adventures that culminate on Christmas Eve, when the bus gets stuck in a snowstorm. That's when the grandfather's running genealogy lesson, based on author Christopher Moore's own family history, arrives at its final destination: the story of Santa and Pete. A truly magical tale, Santa & Pete will take you and your family back to the heart of Christmas.
"What more do I need to know about him?" I asked her, trying to kick a couple of toys under the bed with the back of my heel. I had zero interest in their babysitting plan, figuring my grandfather didn't know a thing about boys my age. Not that he was a mean man. In fact, people throughout the neighborhood praised his kindness and his willingness to lend a hand. He often showed up at a new neighbor's home with his toolbox, helping to transform many a dilapidated brownstone into an urban palace. But to spend every Saturday with him? Since church took up most of Sunday, I wouldn't have enough time over the weekend to play with my friends!
I hadn't spent much time alone with my grandfather, though he and my grandmother had visited our home often when I was younger. They brought a lot of laughter with them, although they sometimes joked that they had to "hold hands to keep from fighting." My grandmother died when I was five, and a sadness rushed in and claimed my grandfather. Without laughter, his towering stature intimidated me and his thunderous voice made me quake.
"There's plenty you don't know about him," my mother told me, watching my crafty footwork without comment. "And some things I'm sure he'd like to know about you. So if it's okay with you, then, you'll ride with him tomorrow."
I sat there stumped for a moment. I wanted to tell her that my friend Basil and I were supposed to fly kites the next day. Or maybe I could tell her that I had a stomachache that I was certain would stretch well into the next week. Or I could just tell her the truth: that my grandfather made me nervous.
"Just don't tell him about my room," I yelled out as her shoes clicked against the hardwood floor all the way down the hall.
"Then clean it up," she yelled back laughing.
The next morning, as my parents fixed breakfast, I eavesdropped on their conversation from my favorite hiding place under the stairwell. It was the cubbyhole where I kept my marbles and my Broadway program from A Raisin in the Sun. I liked to sit there, listen in, and pick up good gossip -- although I was often at a loss to make any sense of it.
This particular morning, however, as my father scraped butter across a slice of toast and Miles Davis's "Sketches of Spain" played in the background, I learned two things. First, our roof needed to be replaced, and second, my parents' decision to match up my grandfather and me was more for his benefit than for mine. As I listened, they went on about my grandmother's passing, and my grandfather's lingering grief
"All he does is work," my mother said. "He didn't even come to Thanksgiving dinner because he volunteered to cover someone else's shift. It's like he's avoiding the holidays and family altogether." Still shaken by her mother's death, she seemed worried that she was losing her father, too.
I heard the spatula tapping the plates and imagined them loaded with bacon, eggs, and toast. When hunger finally snared me into the kitchen from my perch, my parents both looked at me silently, then each of them tripped over the other asking me if I was excited about spending the day with my grandfather.
What could I say after everything I'd heard? I wasn't thrilled. But my grandfather needed me -- and I needed a few things from Santa. With Christmas only four weeks away, this was no time to mess up.
Copyright © 1998 by Christopher Moore and Pamela Johnson
Illustrations © 1998 by Julie Scott
Posted December 8, 1999
Finally, a book that tells the true story of Santa! Jolly Old St. Nick was a real life person, as authors Moore and Johnson, realize early on in this fabulously well-told tale about St. Nick and his long-forgotten partner, Pete the Moor. My only regret is that the childish title may cause serious minded folks to bypass this finely crafted tale. Santa & Pete properly reveals the way America's oldest Christmas tradition began in New Amsterdam -- now known as New York City. With fantasy and fun very much intact, the book makes every adult and child feel apart of Christmas. In times of racial polarization, this book is a standout in showing us the many ways we are all one family. I recommend this book to everyone!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 12, 2000
It was very nice to see christmas in a different way other than just santa going to just bring children gifts. Their was a plot to what they were looking for.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2000
'Santa and Pete' was sent to me as a Christmas gift from Barnes and Noble from my very best friend. She thought that I, the world's greatest fan of Saint Nicholas, would enjoy this new little book about my old hero. She was so right! What a delightful time I had reading this book. This is a great story for anyone who believes in helping Santa, and Pete is just the dude to do it. I recommend this story to anyone who wants to learn about the real St. Nick. Telling it through the voice of an Afrian American, whose ancestors were slaves during the time Dutch settlers brought the original story to America, is absolutely thrilling and wonderful! That author Christopher Moore would grow up to love St. Nick (as he does obviously) is especially moving. I would thank the authors for the story and thank my dearest friend for this wonderful gift.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.