Review: Secret Santa: The Mystery of the Stereoscope

Secret Santa: The Mystery of the Stereoscope
Secret Santa: The Mystery of the Stereoscope by David Tank
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Secret Santa

The Mystery of the Stereoscope
By David Tank

Reviewed by Jay Gilbertson

It takes guts to bring out a new children’s Christmas tale, but local Wisconsin author and Professor at UW-Stout has done just that. Author Tank has a keen interest in vintage 3-D technology and after doing a great deal of research about the stereoscope, combined with his love of story, he created Secret Santa.

Though this book is geared toward the younger reader (ages 6-10) it certainly would make a great read-aloud for the Christmas Eve countdown. The story is told through the eyes of Sam, almost 12, who along with his sister, Abby, 7, receive an old stereoscope from their grandpa. And of course it came with picture cards, several had mysterious images and one was of a rather curious skinny Santa and off the story zoomed!

“What does this picture say?” asked Abby.
“It says Santa Claus looking up those who are good.” read Sam. “I know it says it’s Santa, but I think it’s a guy dressed up like Santa.”
“I wonder who he is?” said Abby.
“Me, too,” said Sam, switching into his scary voice. “It’s veery mys—teer—ious.”

And on blasts this history-filled mystery; from getting sent back in time (1893, no less) to meeting Nellie Bly and Nikola Tesla and actually walking through the famous Chicago World’s Fair grounds to learning the true meaning of Santa. All this and more in no time at all!
In the end, this clever tale reminds us that the true meaning of Christmas is not the gifts we get, but the belief in love we give.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there really is a Santa Claus…

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