The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Aaron Zenz, is an adorable book about Santa Claus and his desire for a vacation away from the North Pole. The author teams up with the same illustrator of The Runaway Pumpkin, and the results are very similar, only this time the wife is carefully watching her husband on his adventures instead of the mother watching her pumpkin son. We’ve read this one a couple of times, and she loves picking out where Mrs. Claus is hiding in the background as Santa talks about his adventures in the mountains and the jungle, among other places.
The drawings are simple line drawn characters that are easily recognized by young readers, and the adventures give young readers an idea of what different locations look like and what equipment or items you might need to pack. This one also had a lot of my daughter’s sight words that she’s learning in preschool, which was good for her to practice recognizing them outside of her flashcards. Out favorite parts were when Mrs. Claus rode a Kangaroo and Santa swung through the jungle with the monkeys and rode an elephant.
The Runaway Santa: A Christmas Adventure Story by Anne Margaret Lewis, illustrated by Aaron Zenz, offers advice on how to be prepared for adventures, even though they are supposed to be fun. It also expresses love and care for loved ones, teaching kids empathy for others and concern about their well-being — allowing them to look outside their selves and their own concerns. Finally, the story also offers a moment of inclusion, as Santa realizes that his wife thinks the vacation adventure may be a good idea and that he would love for her to come along.