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Children's Fiction Christmas & Advent

The House of Wooden Santas

25th Anniversary

by (author) Kevin Major

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2023
Christmas & Advent, Christmas & Advent
Recommended Age
8 to 10
Recommended Grade
3 to 5
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2023
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


The House of Wooden Santas is an award winning holiday classic following the struggles of nine-year old Jesse and his mother, as financial difficulties force them to move from the city to a small town. Jesse is not subtle in expressing his frustration toward the move, their financial struggles, and having to make new friends, so in an effort to combat his downtrodden mood, Jesse's mother begins carving him a wooden Santa for each day in December until Christmas.

The Santas represent the various struggles and emotions Jesse must overcome, and also represent the lingering financial hope of the small family as the carvings are their only means of income. When Jesse and his mother are faced with the threat of eviction, Jesse and his new friend try to use the magic of the Santas and Christmas to help find a solution.

The House of Wooden Santas is a picture book - the pictures are photos (by Ned Pratt) of Imelda George's wood carved Santas. The story that accompanies the pictures is a detailed, third-person narrative, and has more text than average picture books.

About the author

Governor General Award winner Kevin Major has published 17 books, for both young people and adults. His first, Hold Fast, is considered a classic of Canadian young adult fiction, and was recently released as a feature film. No Man’s Land, about the Newfoundland Regiment in WWI, was published in 1995 to much acclaim. Major’s adaption has been brought to the stage by Rising Tide Theatre for more than a dozen seasons.A history of Newfoundland and Labrador: As Near To Heaven By Sea was a Canadian best-seller and finalist for the Pearson Non-Fiction Prize. Ann and Seamus, a verse novel, was shortlisted for a total of ten awards. It has since been turned into an opera, which has been performed internationally. New Under the Sun, the first in a trilogy of historical novels for adults and called “well written, nuanced, and compelling” by Canadian Literature, was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award.John Moss, writing in “A Reader’s Guide to the Canadian Novel,” has said, “Kevin Major is among the best Canadian writers of his generation. He has established himself as a figure of singular importance in our literature.”

Kevin Major's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"The House of Wooden Santas, with photographs taken by Ned Pratt of marvellous wooden Santa Claus figures carved by Nova Scotia artist Imelda George. The book itself is glorious, beautifully made, and structured in the form of a classic children's tale."
Quill and Quire

"This is a moving and unique Christmas story that combines Kevin Major's ability to portray the problems as well as the challenges in a young person's life with the fascinating artwork of Imelda George."
CM Magazine

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