Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Margaret McNamara
Illustrator: Mike Gordon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
It’s getting close to Christmas Mrs. Connor’s class draw names for a Secret Santa gift exchange. Katie and Andrew haven’t been getting along, but Katie is Andrew's Secret Santa. Katie decides to leave her gift at home because she is still mad at him. When it is time to exchange gifts, Katie is sad that she didn’t bring her gift. Mrs. Connor helps her to make a handmade gift at the last minute. Students exchange gifts and it turns out that Andrew picked Katie’s name. Katie and Andrew exchange gifts and apologize. It is a merry Christmas, indeed!
This book is great for beginning readers. It has many easy sight words, but parents might need to help with some of the names as they may be hard to pronounce. The plot is simple, but engaging. The illustrations are also simple and colorful. Children will easily relate to the familiar elementary classroom, exciting Christmas activities, and frustrations with classmates. It could start a good discussion about getting along with siblings and friends.