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Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus
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Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus

4.5 7
by Chris Plehal, James Bernardin (Illustrator)
 

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In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the New York Sun to ask a simple question: Is there a Santa Claus? The editor's response was a stirring defense of hope, generosity, and the spirit of childhood. His essay has been reprinted countless times since, and the phrase "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" has become part of American Christmas

Overview

In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the New York Sun to ask a simple question: Is there a Santa Claus? The editor's response was a stirring defense of hope, generosity, and the spirit of childhood. His essay has been reprinted countless times since, and the phrase "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" has become part of American Christmas lore.

Based on these actual events, Yes, Virginia is the story of a little girl who taught a city to believe.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Believers still take heart in the true account of eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon's 1897 letter to the New York Sun asking if Santa Claus exists--and the resounding affirmative reply printed. Plehal dramatized these events for a 2009 animated TV special and adapts his version to picture book form. If some of the plotting stretches credibility (such as the discovery of Virginia's discarded letter in the trash), the combination of Bernardin's comically exaggerated characters and Plehal's modern, relatable dialogue gives the story some freshness. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
A little girl's simple question and a New York Sun reporter's response are given a back story in this integral part of Christmas lore. In 1897, young Virginia is proud of the book she has made for Santa Claus and can hardly wait for Christmas Eve so she can leave it for him. The taunts of schoolmate Charlotte, who scoffs at the very idea of Santa, compels Virginia to seek his authenticity. Books in the library are interesting but not definitive and the skinny Santa with the scraggly beard at Herald Square embodies the kindness of Santa (his gave his coat to a poor woman) but admits he is not the real one. At her father's suggestion, Virginia writes to the Sun only to have her letter tossed in the trash. Moping and waiting for an answer, Virginia gives skinny Santa a new coat and her generosity prompts him to declare, "Today, you are Santa." When Charlotte finds the discarded letter and teases Virginia even more, skinny Santa heads to the Sun's office to demand respect for the little girl. With a change of heart, the reporter writes the now famous reply that appears in the next day's paper. Virginia is vindicated and a whole city comes to believe. Meanwhile her book is returned to her by a jolly rotund man in a red suit with a twinkle in his eye. While the story is sweet and predictable it has great appeal and will help parents emphasize the spirit of Santa and Christmas. Handsome watercolors capture the period perfectly although the children with their large heads and big wide eyes tend to be cartoonish. Overall it is a nice addition to the holiday genre. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062001733
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
26,107
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Chris Plehal is a writer who works in television, radio, and advertising. In 2009, he wrote and helped produce the Yes, Virginia animated special on CBS. When he's not traveling to strange countries, he lives in New York City with his wife, Tate. This is his first book.

James Bernardin is a versatile and prolific illustrator of many acclaimed books for children. He has illustrated Laura Numeroff's Would I Trade My Parents?, Eve Bunting's Too Many Monsters, and Candy Chand's The Twelve Prayers of Christmas. He has also created artwork for numerous book covers, including Mary Pope Osborne's Tales from the Odyssey series.

James lives on Bainbridge Island in Washington State with his wife, Lisa, and two sons, Wyeth and Bryson.

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Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing! It really touches your heart when you read it! So if you are feeling down or gloomy this is the book to read! Its worth the payment so i reccomend it to everyone!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is sad, every time i read it i start crying, for those of you who do not believe read this book and you will change your mind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is cute
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LadyJai More than 1 year ago
Oh what an amazing book to read! When your child comes to you asking that glorious question, "Is Santa real?" this is the book to read with them! I absolutely LOVE this answer. I've been telling this to my son for years! He never really knew the commercial Santa Claus except what he sees on TV. But he always knew of his Spirit and the Spirit of Christmas, as well as the reason for the Season -- Celebrating the birth of Jesus. Well written. Beautiful art work. Based on a true story. And they included the actual "Letter to the Editor and response" from the New York "The Sun" from back in the 1800s.
Momma-of-3 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book to my kids 3 times now, and once to each of their school classes. Everyone loves it~ I cry EVERY single time I read it! It is just what every Non-believer needs to hear! GREAT story, wonderful illustrations!