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Santa's Book of Names
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Santa's Book of Names

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  189 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Illustrated throughout with stunning watercolor nightscapes of snowy winter scenes, Santa's Book of Names depicts all the warmth and spirit of this special time of year in a story about a young boy who learns to read with Santa's help. David McPhail's inspirational holiday story emphasizes the importance of literacy while reminding readers that with patience and practice, ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1993)
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Apr 10, 2012 Samantha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers =)
Recommended to Samantha by: Alexandria
Great pictures, great story, great main character, rather original story....yeah, I liked this book. Its nice to see how the spirit of Christmas and the kindness of another can help influence a love of reading. I especially love the fact that Edward's parents refused to let the school test him and categorize him. They believed in him as every good parent should believe in their child. Very commendable =)
Nov 08, 2012 Heather rated it it was amazing
42 months - a nice holiday book that was very timely for my 3 1/2 year old who is learning to read. I think people read too much into the Mother denying testing when the teacher sends home a note. Kids are ready to read at different ages some not until they are 7-8 years. My child has been verbal and into books and reading since birth, it seems, but she's slower with manual dexterity things. I on the other hand struggled for years with reading yet I eventually got it and was an honors student i ...more
Dec 24, 2008 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 1-2 grades
Recommended to Cheryl by: Nanette
Edward is enlisted to help Santa read from his "Book of Names" when Santa loses his spectacles. One problem: Edward can't read. Faced with this ultimate motivation, Edward musters the ability to sound out the words and--voila--he can read. While reading specialists might take issue with this simplistic, phonic solution (?), the story is more about how empowering it is to read. Great holiday readaloud.
Dec 11, 2012 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a charming Christmas book. A story about a young reluctant reader that comes to the understanding of how reading is vastly important --- especially on Santa's most important night of the year.
Elizabeth S
Aug 30, 2014 Elizabeth S rated it liked it
Somewhat dumb story, but the pictures were lovely.
Leigh Perry
Sep 02, 2015 Leigh Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Santa's Book Of Names, is a story that takes place on Christmas Eve. The main character, Edward, is a young boy who struggles to read, so his father reads aloud Edward's favorite story about Santa Claus. Listening to the story, Edward begins to wonder how Santa could possibly remember every child around the world, so his mother suggests that maybe Santa has a book of names. Then one night Edward hears a sound and soon gets his hands on Saint Nick's very own Book of Names and is stuck in the pred ...more
Lauren Grosch
Jan 18, 2016 Lauren Grosch rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading Santa's Book of Names. I thought it was a creative story. It's about a little boy, named Edward, who doesn't know how to read. On Christmas Eve, he hears santa but when he gets downstairs only the presents are left. He sees a book on the floor and realizes Santa must have dropped it. He goes outside and tries to yell but Santa can't hear him. He decides to write a giant "B" for book in his yard. Santa comes back and invites the little boy to deliver the rest of the presents. Sa ...more
Mar 20, 2012 Patty rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chrissy Muller
Sep 13, 2011 Chrissy Muller rated it it was amazing
This book was about a young boy who didn't know how to read. I found it to be very similar to "When Will I Read" by Miriam Cohen. In this story, Santa had forgot his book and needed an assistant to read it to him. When he got his book back from the boy, Santa asked him to ride along. In doing so, the boy learned to read after a series of unfortunate events. This book was very inspirational, and I would read it to my students during the holidays. The illustrations were very life-like, and while r ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Edward struggles with reading, his teacher is concerned and his parents dismiss those concerns and request patience. On Christmas Eve, Edward's father reads him a Christmas story. Edward wonders how Santa remembers all the children's names and reaches the conclusion he must have a book of names. "Coincidentally", Santa's book of names is left at Edward's house. Santa comes back for it and asks Edward to come along and help him read the names as he travels around the world. Will Edward be able to ...more
Tiara Patterson
I did not care to much for this book. When Edward was forced to read for Santa, he was doing the exact same thing he would do if he was reading alone in his room. There was not anything about inspiring Edward to learn how to read because he was already trying to learn on his own. To me, it is like it took the magic of Santa to get Edward to actually read instead of just working on it. Also, the mother denied testing for her child to see if he may need additional help learning how to read. If he ...more
Danielle Boles
Jan 18, 2014 Danielle Boles rated it really liked it
This was a story that emphasized the warmth and happiness of the holiday season meanwhile talking about a little boy who learns to read with a little help from Santa. McPhail also talks about the importance of literacy and the importance of patience. I think this is a good message to send children because not all children are going to be literate from the first time they pick up a book; they need to learn patience. Some impatient children may not pick up another book voluntarily because they we ...more
Dec 26, 2016 Pam rated it liked it
I loved that in this imaginative tale David McPhail combined the subjects of Christmas and reading together in one book. This uplifting story will help mend the fears of children, who are a bit slow at mastering reading, and their parents. But I could have done without the part in the story where the parents chose to ignore the teacher's advice which felt like another slam against teachers. In this case Edward had a positive outcome, but in another child's case such rejection may have resulted i ...more
Paul  Hankins
Dec 21, 2011 Paul Hankins rated it it was amazing
A young boy who has difficulty with reading discovers that Santa has left his book of names behind. When he gets Santa's attention and returns the book, Santa invites him to take the big trip, helping to read the names of those on the good list.

This book has been criticized by some for its treatment of reading and how it happens. I am giving it all five stars for being about Christmas. . .and Santa. . .and books. . .and reading. We can discuss the particulars after January 1st (wink).
Feb 18, 2011 Robert rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that is supposed to tug on your strings and make you feel all warm inside. It failed to do so. It's a novel concept, but it missed its mark for me.

The boy hasn't learned to read yet. On Christmas he found that Santa had dropped his book that explains what gift to leave for each child. David returns the book to Santa who then asks him to come along in the sleigh as he delivers the toys. By the end of the evening, David has learned to read.

Kay Mcgriff
Dec 06, 2014 Kay Mcgriff rated it it was amazing
I love this story of Edward, who is good at math and can name most of the dinosaurs, but can't quite read yet. His parents say "wait," and then one Christmas night Santa drops his book of names. Edward finds it, and Santa invites him along for the journey in the sleigh. A magical book the wraps up Christmas and the magic of reading.
Sarah Winters
Dec 01, 2012 Sarah Winters rated it really liked it
This is another great book for the holidays; it has very detailed pictures and an interesting story-line. I liked the part where it showed Edward sounding out the names in the book; this would reinforce the skill of sounding out unknown words with students. I would recommend this book for first to third graders, depending on the reading level.
Megan Moore
This is a happy children's book that all kids and teachers can read and get into the holiday spirit. It's about a boy who finds santa's book of names and how he returns it to santa. It's a good book for young children so they can use their imagination and it is filled with many detailed and colorful pictures.
Aug 14, 2014 Lizz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Favorite holiday book of all time. Great art work great inspiring story that reminds me why I loved Christmas so much growing up. I had this book memorized when I was younger, I read it that often. I still read it every Christmas.
Sun Woong Oh
Sep 04, 2013 Sun Woong Oh rated it really liked it
My daughter believed in Santa until she was nine. I was happy to keep her innocence childlike days. Even though She knows who left those present at Christmas eve now, I'll happy to read this book tonight.
T Crockett
Dec 17, 2015 T Crockett rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Entertained children age 5-11 yrs. It's original while still holding lots of the elements associated with Santa stories. If you liked Polar Express, you'll probably like this too. Great illustrations
Aug 31, 2011 Shauna rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I really connected with it. When i was younger i always struggled with reading. I loved the ending of the book. It sends a message to young kids telling them to face their fears. I would recommend this book.
Rosa Cline
Dec 18, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
This is a book that has the same little boy in it as Edward and the Pirates. Edward wants to learn to read as he loves his parents read to him. He ends up on Santa's sled and Santa helps him to read by having him read names and gifts from his "Name Book" A very cleverly written Christmas book.
This book is so cute. The pictures are nice, and the story is adorable, too.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Dec 29, 2009 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas
Santa needs a little help reading his book of names and gifts. Edward has trouble reading. Can he help Santa? Ages 5-10.
Aug 17, 2015 Mommooshka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A delightful Christmas story that also emphasizes the joy and value of reading.

Highly recommend for all kids and their adults.
Amy Hayes
Dec 03, 2013 Amy Hayes rated it it was amazing
Such a cute holiday read, with a great lesson for parents to be patient and all will work it self out in time.
Ellen Brandt
Dec 07, 2009 Ellen Brandt rated it really liked it
A great book for first grade students, especially those who are struggling with learning to read
Pam Grubb
Nov 30, 2016 Pam Grubb rated it it was amazing
Great book for a struggling reader to know that they are not alone and that they can succeed.
Leah Patera
Leah Patera rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2015
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David was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts and attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. While there, he began illustrating. He is now an award-winning author and illustrator of nearly 200 books beloved by children, parents and librarians across the United States. McPhail has garnered many prestigious awards, including a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year ...more
More about David McPhail...

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