The Santa List by Kieran Crowley, illustrated by James Lancett

Publication Date: 7 October 2021

The Blurb

When Aisling and Joe antagonise their tough new babysitter, she writes to Santa asking for them to be put on the “naughty list”. Determined not to be denied their Christmas presents, the pair seek help from the school bully – who always gets presents, no matter how badly he behaves! Unfortunately this leads to them stealing the Santa List. After all, if Santa doesn’t have the list then he can’t tell if you’ve been naughty or nice, can he?

But when the kids have a change of heart, they face a race-against-time adventure to return the list to Mr Claus, before Christmas is ruined. And when they are stopped by someone who absolutely hates Christmas . . . Christmas may not be saved after all!

The Review

With hints of Nanny McPhee and A Christmas Carol, this is a hilarious mad-cap adventure to save Christmas.

Aisling and Joe are typical siblings who make a brilliant team, especially when faced with the no nonsense Mrs Grough, the only babysitter prepared to take on the troublesome twosome. It true Christmas preparation style, the children are on their best behaviour – it’s December and all children know that if they’re going to get presents that’s when to follow the rules. But, Mrs Grough is no push over, and the siblings soon find themselves on the wrong side of their militant babysitter and Santa’s list.

What starts out as a selfish bid to ensure they get what they want, turns into a desperate bid to save Christmas for all of the children of the world, and we see them think of others before themselves. Their growing friendship with the school bully sees the re-evaluate their view of him and themselves.

I loved Mrs Grough. Strict and standoffish, she gives the children just enough rope to get themselves in bother, and just enough freedom for them to attempt to get out of it again.

A joy to read, The Santa List is bound to become a festive favourite.

Great for fans of:

  • A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould
  • Bah! Humbug by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Tony Ross
  • The Christmas Carrols by Mel Taylor-Bessent, illustrated by Selom Sunu

Huge thanks to Scholastic for sending me a finished copy.