Children’s Book Review: Where Would Santa Go?
Join Santa as he shows you all his favorite places around the world in this playful sleigh-ful global adventure.
Very soon, it will be that magical time of year again. The weather outside gets colder, and mom starts hanging the stockings on the mantel. Garland and lights begin to fill the house, and you and your little ones will be curled up next to one another as you read books by the fireplace.
One of our favorite holiday traditions is sharing holiday storybooks from around the world with our children. The holidays are an excellent time to teach children about celebrations, traditions and fun facts from across the globe. This year I will be reading Where Would Santa Go? By Julia Inserro with my little ones. This book doesn’t share only one culture or country; it shares about many!
Where Would Santa Go? is about a girl named Lucy and a boy named Max who write a letter to Santa, asking him where they should travel to first when they get older? Since Santa gets to travel the world on Christmas Eve, Lucy and Max think he is the perfect person to ask. That night, Santa appears in Lucy and Max’s room and takes them on a magical venture to some of his favorite places to visit. Lucy, Max, and Santa visit many places around the world. They travel to the coldest parts of the world and soar with the northern lights over Iceland.
This book is easy to read and easy to follow. Your children will enjoy learning new facts about many countries around the world while enjoying a little magic of Christmas. This book will take you on an adventure without ever leaving your home.
Natalie Merheb did a beautiful job illustrating the book as well. The pictures will keep your kids engaged and interested. The illustrations, coupled with a great story, revel in the magic of imagination and adventure. I must say that we have completely fallen in love with this book by Julia Inserro. And it has made its way to the section of our favorites on the bookshelf.
Where Can I Find "Where Would Santa Go?"
Other Books By Julia Inserro
About the Author, Julia Inserro
“I’m a mother of multiples (had three under three for a while), wife, expat, writer, photographer, ethical vegetarian, and spider-saver. I can be convinced to go practically anywhere there is wildlife to view or back alleys to explore.
Almost six months to the day after our wedding, my husband and I were on a plane with two cats heading to our new life in Cairo, Egypt. I will admit there were a lot of tears on that flight; I’d given up my career, my home, my friends, my family, and all semblance of life as I knew it to follow this crazy, lovable man to what felt like the ends of the earth.
And in essence, they were the ends of the earth as I knew it. But it was fabulous and eye-opening and expansive in only a way an expat can experience. And it was the first of many leaps of faith I would be taking; frankly, I’m surprised I haven’t strained anything.
Since that fateful flight, we have lived in five countries (America, Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain). We have had nine cats (and lost five of them to old age). We have visited at least nine other countries (I’m sure I’m forgetting some, and they don’t count if we didn’t leave the airport). And most importantly, we have gained three children.
It’s been a bit busy.
But through it all, and when I have time and brain-power of late, I still love writing. I now have to squeeze it in between tantrums, nose wipings, artwork admirations, and storytime. But when I can make the squeeze, and when my brain cooperates, I love to pour out my musings as an expat-parent-explorer-observer on my blog.”
Rapid Fire with Julia Inserro
Q. What type of books do you write?
Julia: I write children’s books. I have three children, ages 7, 5, and 5, so I’m reading picture books and chapter books every day. Admittedly I have always loved picture books, even before I became a parent, but now they are a constant in our lives. I might like to write chapter books and maybe even novels in the future, but for now I’m very happy in the picture book world.
Q. What inspires you as a writer?
Julia: My kids are my #1 inspiration for all of my books. Things they say or do plant a seed, and I can feel it wiggling around trying to take root. Sometimes I’ll share my ideas with my kids, or now they’ll even say, “Hey, are you going to write about this?” I have tons of drafts waiting to be revised. Some make it, and some don’t.
Q. What does your family think of your writing?
Julia: My family is tremendously supportive. My husband was the one who believed in my first book more than I did. He pushed me to get it out there. And ever since, he’s been my #1 fan, well, maybe in the top 4. My three kids are extremely excited with every book I publish. I make a point of making sure they are represented in the characters, and I ask them about character designs when the illustrator and I are starting. I share the drafts with them. They don’t really realize how long it can take to get a book published, so I get a lot of, “Can I read it yet?” questions. But once it’s out, they want to hand out copies to all their friends and teachers. I love their excitement and support.
Q. What was the most surprising thing you learned about creating books?
Julia: I’m still learning. It’s amazing, but with each book I’ve published (and I’m working on my sixth one now), I keep learning more and more. And it’s with every facet of the process. I’m always refining my writing. I’m honing my graphic design and layout skills. I’m working on marketing tactics. It’s a constant learning process. The only thing that has not evolved through this whole time is my illustration talent, that remains nil. And for that reason, I am forever indebted to these amazingly skilled and talented artists that I happily surround myself with.
Q. What advice do you have for writers?
Julia: There are two points I like to make to people who ask me how they can become a writer.
1. Write. You can’t revise and refine something that doesn’t exist. So, put it down on paper, whatever it is, however rough it is, in whatever condition is it. Just get it down.
2. Edit. You must must must hire professional editors for anything you want to publish. It’s your credibility as an author, as an artist, as a business person, to put your best work forward. Reading a book that has typos or mistakes throughout tells me that the author didn’t care enough to do their best, so why should I waste my time reading it, let alone purchasing it.
Q. What does your creative process look like?
Julia: It’s funny, my three kids are the inspiration for everything I write. But they’re also the biggest impediment I have to the writing process. After I drop my two littles off at nursery school, I have found great inspiration just sitting in my 12-year-old minivan. Sometimes I sit in the school parking lot. Other times I go to the beach parking lot behind the school (we currently live in Bahrain). Many of my books have been written in that parking lot – it has sentimental value now. I need peace and quiet to get the thoughts out and refine the words. And as a parent of three littles, I grab these tiny moments whenever I can and cram in as much writing as possible.
Q. What do you love most about being an Author?
Julia: I have found that I love all the processes of publishing. I first love the writing process, where I get an idea, I run with it, and then finally when it all comes together in that perfect click. I tend to think of titles first, then write the book. I know when a story isn’t right yet – it’s such a gut feeling. But boy, when it comes together, it’s fabulous!
Pairing up with a talented and excited illustrator is an exciting milestone, too. Passing off my manuscript and letting them bring it to life and put their own spin on it is such a magical time. I give my illustrators some general ideas and directions, but I love seeing what they bring to the creation. I try to work collaboratively with all my illustrators. This is a team project.
Q. Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with your readers about?
Julia: Through a twist of fate, or stars aligning, I will be releasing three books very close together. In addition to Where Would Santa Go?, I will also be releasing The Do-Over Day and Don’t Paint the Cat.
The Do-Over Day is about surviving the worst day ever. We all have them, and they’re no fun. But in the do-over day we learn how we all can try to have a better day tomorrow.
Don’t Paint the Cat is about how even fun things have their limit. We all have things we love to do above all else, whether it’s painting, or baking cookies, or gymnastics, or swimming, or even eating cookies, but there can be too much of a good thing.
I’m also re-releasing a book I published this summer under a new title and cover, Dinosaurs in the Hardware Store. It’s all about the power of imagination and how no matter where we are, we have our imagination along for the ride. It’s only limited by how far you can take it.
Q. What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
Julia: This book has two subjects that are near and dear to our hearts – travel and Santa. My kids love both, possibly equally. We are expats living overseas, so my kids are getting amazing opportunities to see countries and cities that I never even knew about. I love their curiosity and sense of adventure.
Then one day, we were talking about Santa, which is a regular topic of conversation throughout the year in our house, and we started thinking about where Santa might like to go on vacation. And from there, the book wrote itself.
I purposefully wanted to include places slightly off the main tourist map. While we all love to visit Paris and Rome and Machu Picchu and the Great Wall of China, there are so many other wonders to see. I did a lot of research and asked my kids and other expat kids, where they would like to go, and the top pics were to see penguins in Antarctica, castles, the Northern Lights, and lions.
Q. Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp?
Julia: I would love for readers to finish Where Would Santa Go? and be inspired to explore the world around them. Not everyone can hop on a plane, but we can get out maps and explore through books and films. We don’t have to travel to see and learn about new places. But how fun would it be to create a list of fabulous places we’d love to explore?
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All in all, my family and I have really enjoyed this book and we know you will too! Please feel free to leave me any comments or questions about this review. I look forward to hearing from you!
* This book was kindly sent to me by Author, Julia Inserro in exchange for an honest review.