Kid Lit: But What If There’s No Chimney?

I received this book for free from the publisher at BEA 2016. That fact in no way influenced my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

But What If There’s No Chimney? by Emily Weisner Thompson & Mandy Hussey
To be published on October 17, 2016.
Goodreads Summary:
Five-year-old Ben is new in town and shocked to find his house has no chimney! How will Santa get into his house to deliver gifts? As Christmas approaches, Ben looks for answers, asking his dad, friend, teacher, mailman, and even his dog! Ben’s search ends with a letter to Santa Claus, Indiana. Will Santa reply, and what will he say?

Did you know that Santa Claus, Indiana is a real place? You can write to Santa and the Elves at P.O. Box 1, Santa Claus, Indiana 47579.Don’t forget to include your return address to get a reply in December!

Checkermint the elf is hiding inside! Can you find him?

My Thoughts:
In But What If There’s No Chimney a young boy is concerned about how Santa will get into his new house when there’s no chimney. His dad assures him that it will be alright. Santa is magic. Ben is not convinced. He frets over it at school, and then decides to write Santa a letter. Santa’s response is the same as his dad’s. He’s magic.
I liked the premise of this story, but the execution wasn’t as good as I would have hoped. The topic – concern about Santa – is something that applies to older kids: ages 4-6 perhaps. But the rhyming nature of the book and some of the awkward wording is better suited for younger kids. Also, the resolution is kind of anticlimactic. 
There is a plug for Santa Claus, Indiana as the place where Ben mails his Santa letter, and as this book is published by the Indiana University Press, it sort of makes sense. The description of Santa actually reading the letter that arrived in Indiana could be misleading or confusing for kids beginning to question the existence of Santa. I may skip the word “Indiana” when I read this with my 6 year old at Christmas time.

My Rating: 3 stars

I’m linking up with Booking Mama today for Kid Konnection. Every Saturday Julie hosts this link up for all things relating to children’s books.

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  1. I'm getting Christmas books as well already. I don't want to think about that yet. I appreciate the honest review and wonder if the book is more a plug for the community that a good story.

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