In the tradition of classic children’s Christmas stories, Jane Gerencher captures the joy of the season while revealing a rarely seen side of St. Nicholas—the fallible, human side. Kids around the world are aware of Santa’s global travels the night of December 24th, but few consider the teamwork required to keep their gifts arriving in their stockings and under their trees.
Santa’s Sugar has universal themes that will appeal to children as well as to adults. Kindness, friendship, understanding and the desire to fit in are never out-of-date. The reader can readily identify with the main character, Nugget, who, as an elf in Santa’s workshop, cannot find a position that he can do satisfactorily though he is given several opportunities to try different jobs. He is disappointed in himself, and the other elves are doubtful of his ability. Santa recognizes Nugget’s situation and chooses him to take care of his beloved cat, Sugar. All goes well until Christmas Eve when Nugget is distracted by Santa’s account of his Christmas Eve journey, filled with images of colorful lights, Christmas trees, and cookies.
That happy moment is interrupted when an elf informs Santa that the elves found a gift in the bottom of a sack as they were unloading the sleigh. Distressed, Santa rushes off to deliver the gift. With Santa gone, Nugget is unable to find Sugar and is faced with what appears to be an impossible situation. He frantically searches for Sugar and fears disappointing Santa and himself again. Fortunately, Nugget discovers a friend who remembers his kindness. The story ends happily when Nugget learns that listening to his heart and doing the right thing is a good way to live.
Gerencher’s heartwarming story, whether in book form or in the new interactive story book app, should find a welcome place in the hands of parents, grandparents, and children and could well become part of their annual Christmas tradition. All of the charming illustrations by Arizona resident and illustrator Michael Patch which are found in the book are also contained in the app.
Gerencher received a BA in English from Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, coincidentally referred to as The Christmas City, and an MA in English from The Pennsylvania State University. She has taught at various levels of education for 28 years and wrote a newspaper column for two years. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her love of children and her experience with them as a teacher, CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Advocate for Abused and Neglected Children), parent, and grandparent are evident in the themes of the book.
Arizona resident Jane Gerencher’s Christmas story for children, Santa's Sugar, is available from her publisher, Inkwell Productions of Scottsdale, AZ, www.inkwellproductions.com, as well as online from www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. The interactive storybook app by Authorly.com is available from iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon app store. More information about her book and related activities for children are available at her website www.santassugar.com.