Santa Knows

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SANTA KNOWS by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Greg Leitich Smith, illustrated by Steve Bjorkman (Dutton, 2006)(OP). Ages 4-up.

Who knows if you’ve been naughty or nice?

Santa knows, that’s who.

But not everyone believes in Santa Claus.

Consider Alfie F. Snorklepuss. He thinks he’s proven that Santa Claus doesn’t exist. Alfie thinks there is no way that Santa could do all the things he’s supposed to, like deliver billions of presents all over the world in one night or know what every little kid wants.

When Alfie starts spreading the word that there is no Santa Claus, he makes someone very unhappy: his little sister Noelle.

And so Noelle turns to the only person who can help her. The one person Alfie thinks doesn’t exist: Santa Claus.

In this sweet and funny picture book from Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith, with illustrations by Steve Björkman, Alfie gets an attitude adjustment, North Pole-style, from Santa and his elves, and Noelle gets exactly what she wanted for Christmas: a nicer big brother.

SANTA KNOWS is out of print. Look for copies at libraries and used bookstores.

Awards and Honors

  • Holiday High Notes, The Horn Book
  • Featured Title, Kansas Book Festival

Cynthia says:

“Greg and I were absolutely wowed by Steve’s illustrations—the emotion he shows in the characters’ faces and body language, the detail and vivid imagination in the Santa’s Workshop scenes.

“We especially enjoyed how he integrated modern details like laptop computers and headphones on the elves, juxtaposing modern technology against timeless magic. Steve dedicated the book to his daughter, Kristi, and attentive readers will notice an elf with ‘Kristi’ on her apron.”


“Kids will be drawn to Bjorkman’s loose watercolor-and-ink illustrations…Alfie F. Snorklepuss is a newly minted winner.” — Kirkus Review

“Boisteous…energetic…fantastic.” — Publishers Weekly

“Worthy Stories for the Holidays.” — The Miami Herald

“Even kids as old as nine or ten will enjoy the delightful illustrations, particular the humbug patterns on Alfie’s pajamas and will chuckle at Alfie’s meticulous research…a story that will turn even the grumpiest Scrooge into a true believer!” — Parent:Wise Austin

“Little sisters will cheer. The Christmas message–that there are some things we should believe in even if we cannot logically explain them–comes through in a wonderful, playful way.” — Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

September 2006 | 0-525-47747-8 | Dutton | Hardcover | PB | 32 Pages | Ages 4-up