Snoopy’s Letters to Santa

After doing a rather strange little we-won’t-accept-the-coupon-so-you-have-to-order-online-use-the-coupon-there-and-have-them-ship-out-the-book-to-the-store-which-you-then-come-pick-up-even-though-we-have-copies-just-sitting-here-on-the-shelves dance with my local Hallmark store, I finally have a copy of Letters to Santa, a new hardcover Peanuts storybook written by Bill Gray and illustrated by Rich LaPierre. This starts with the kids writing letters to Santa (something they did in the strip), but quickly switches  to exclusively focusing on Snoopy writing one (can’t say that I recall that happening), which becomes Snoopy trying to put a positive spin on the various shenanigans he was involved in during the course of the year. The tale ends with (SPOILER WARNING) Snoopy getting a letter back from Santa. And I gotta admit, that last bit struck me as odd. I am fine with both the Head Beagle and Mickey Mouse being real in the Peanuts universe, but Santa being real feels like pandering to kids and to the culture. Much of Peanuts, particularly of Snoopy, is about the struggle between the real and the imagined, and this crosses that line. Of course, this is a storybook intended for the little kids and for the grandmas who buy it for them, and should probably do fine as that. (I suppose it was really intended as an excuse/explanation for the typing Snoopy figure they’re selling this season, but it’s cute and doesn’t need that much excuse.)

The online page for this lists the title as Peanuts Snoopy’s Letters to Santa, which is fine for search optimization, but is neither accurate to the title as presented on/in the book, nor is it accurate to the book, as Snoopy only appears to write one letter. Precision matters! (Really, I’m just noting it because it could cause future indexer confusion.)

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