Here come Santa, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa
By Ayesha Court, USA TODAY
It's time to decorate trees for Christmas and spin Hanukkah dreidels, and it's nearly time to light candles on the Kwanzaa kinara. Books tell stories of these annual holidays for young readers. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- Dear Santa, Please Come to the 19th Floor by Yin, illustrated by Chris Soentpiet (PenguinPutnam, $16.99). If you live on the top floor of an apartment building whose elevator doesn't work and is in a rough part of town, will Santa find you? Young Carlos, who uses a wheelchair because of an accident, and his best friend, Willy, hope so. Willy worries that Carlos will never be happy again, and Carlos feels that Willy has changed just as much since the accident. But a visit from Santa (who barely makes it up those flights of stairs with presents in tow) brings the friends together again. Yin's sometimes bittersweet story and Soentpiet's bright illustrations bring barrio life — winos, multiple deadbolt locks and all — to light in an accessible way.