Follow Santa’s Christmas Eve journey to visit children around the world and learn about a variety of holiday traditions and the sweet treats that await his arrival.
A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman is a fun mix of geography and culture with beautiful digital collages by illustrator Susan Gal.
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Take a Tasty Tour Around the World
The adventure begins in Kiritimati – a little island in the South Pacific that is also known as Christmas Island. Children use the many coconuts available to make sweet, chewy macaroons.
From there, stops include the Philippines for salabat, a spicy ginger tea; Malawi for sweet potato cookies called mbatata; Norway for a bowl of riskrem (rice pudding); Brazil for a fudge-like sweet called brigadeiro; and Puerto Rico for mantecadito (a cherry-studded shortbread cookie) before returning home to the North Pole. (There are thirty-three stops in all!)
Recipes for nine of the sweet treats are included at the end of the book.
Explore Regional Traditions
Compare different traditions for gift-bringers around the globe.
🇦🇺In Australia, where it’s summer, Santa Claus uses his magic key to open the front door.
🇯🇵In Japan, Hoteiosha brings gifts and fortunes and is believed to have eyes in the back of his head to watch for misbehaving children.
🇿🇦In South Africa, Kersvader (Father Christmas) arrives by donkey.
🇷🇺In Russia, Ded Moroz (Grandfather Frost) and Snegurochka (Snow Maiden) ride a sleigh pulled by three horses.
🇫🇷In France, Père Noël and Gui, the donkey, fill shoes with gifts.
🇨🇱In Chile, Viejo Pascuero (Old Man Christmas) climbs in through windows.
🇺🇸In Hawaii, Kanakaloka arrives on a surfboard pulled by a dolphin.
Activity: Map the Story
Print our FREEBIE for an interactive read-aloud – or as an independent or partner reading activity.
Students map Santa’s journey while reading or listening to the story and follow a set of directions to complete a task at each stop along the way.
Drawing a local ingredient used in making a sweet treat or an icon reminder of a tradition helps students to recall and retell the story.