Santa and the Sugar Glider by Alexa Moses and Anil Tortop (Illustrator)

Title: Santa and the Sugar Glider

Author: Alexa Moses and Anil Tortop (Illustrator)

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Lothian/Hachette

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A sweet Australian Christmas story with a positive message about following your dreams, helping others, and the magic of Christmas, from the author and illustrator of the CBCA shortlisted book Bat Vs Poss.

It’s Christmas Eve, and Snap the sugar glider is practising his moves. He wants to be the greatest flyer in the rainforest, but the other animals just laugh at him.

When Santa makes an emergency landing, all the animals get a chance to audition to fill in for Comet, who is injured. Is this Snap’s chance to shine?

A heart-warming story full of Christmas magic, from the team that brought you the CBCA shortlisted book Bat Vs Poss.


Snap the sugar glider and the rest of the bush animals are showing off what they can do and trying to outdo each other. They’re laughing and joking when they hear a crash in the rainforest. Snap is determined to be the best flyer in the rainforest, but everyone laughs at him. It is Christmas Eve, and Santa has crashed in their forest after Comet injures herself.

They also laugh at Snap when he says he wants to fly Santa’s sleigh – but is this the time for Snap to shine, and will he show the other animals what he is capable of?

Christmas stories are lots of fun, and many of the ones we have today are English or European, set during winter. In Australia, we celebrate Christmas at the height of summer, complete with snowy, wintry decorations and music, whilst sitting around in shorts and t-shirts. The classic movies we watch also take place in winter. Australian Christmas stories are few and far between, but I have noticed some appearing over the last couple of years, and this is a delightful development. As much as I love The Nutcracker, and A Christmas Carol, and all the classic and modern Christmas stories I have, I think readers of all ages need Australian Christmas stories across all formats and genres to reflect our Christmas.

This is where books like Santa and the Sugar Glider come in. They give us a taste of an Australian Christmas, in this case a bush animal Christmas. It uses the juxtaposition of the Australian bush or rainforest, with the traditional Christmas characters – Santa and his reindeer – to tell a lovely story about teamwork, friendship and valuing skills in a fun, colourful rainforest in Australia visited by Santa and his reindeer (female, as they should be, given that female reindeer have antlers in the winter).

This adorable story is touching and engaging and is great for all readers. It is one to be read whilst sitting around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, preparing for a visit from Santa, and maybe this year, he will be assisted by a little sugar glider named Snap.

A lovely book for all ages to enjoy.

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