The Santa Spy

Patrick Bates
Character Publishing (2013)
ISBN 9780989079723
Reviewed by Eliana Summers (age 3), Autumn Summers (age 9) and Noelle Summers for Reader Views (7/14)

“The Santa Spy” by Patrick Bates is a short story about a curious boy named Darren who just can’t help but question the existence of Santa. Going through the math and looking at the reality of things, there is just no way he could possibly exist!  Just to be sure (because who wants to be wrong about these things), Darren decides to do a little investigating himself and catch Santa in the act on Christmas Eve.  This will be his chance to prove once and for all if the big man really exists.

With asking the question that every kid wants to know the answer too, introducing big words, and including a nice “make your own investigation” at the end, “The Santa Spy” can be a special treat for kids ages 5-9. They’ll be hooked on finding the answer and in the end it’s up to them to decide whether or not they want to believe in Darren’s discovery.

“The Santa Spy” by Patrick Bates is a good book, but as I stated above more for the older kids than younger. Even if they are just as curious as the older kids about Santa, this book doesn’t do much to catch their attention and the big words in it will confuse them. In the first 3 pages my little sister, age 3 (almost 4) up and left to go play with her toys, leaving me alone to find out if Santa really existed or not.  As for my 9 year old sister, she was really hooked into the story. She was just as curious to find out the answer to Santa’s existence as Darren was and gave her input on the matter throughout the book. The art itself is simple and my sister found it to her liking. One thing that I wanted to point out that I wasn’t such a big fan of was the description on the back. I found the last sentence about what the book included to be a little awkward fitting.  I think that saying what’s in the book is good but to me there seems like there could have been a better way to write/add it on the book.

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