Daniel Kibblesmith’s Santa’s Husband (2017)

Santa's HusbandSanta’s Husband (2017), written by Daniel Kibblesmith and illustrated by A P Quach, reimagines Santa and his partner as an interracial gay couple. Santa Claus, a black man, and his white partner, David, live in the North Pole, check the naughty/nice list twice, and take care of all the reindeer. The idea that some people don’t like a gay black Santa is introduced but it’s noted that people have always imagined Santa in different ways.

Although I appreciate the attempt to queer Santa, this book doesn’t seem to be written for children. The humor especially seems targeted at adults, from references to Rudolph’s dietary restrictions to discussions of negotiating labor disputes with elves. That being said, I took a look at Amazon.com customer reviews and a lot of LGBTQ+ couples appreciated the opportunity to read a queerish Christmas story. I agree that it is a worthy project, but the execution just wasn’t there for me. That being said, I’m glad it exists and the very presence of this queer Christmas tale speaks to a need for more LGBTQ+ affirming holiday stories!

This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!

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