Just Be Claus
A Christmas Story
Even as a baby, sweet little Claus seemed different. He didn't cry like the other babies and with his rosy cheeks and round little belly, he was a jolly soul. His grandmother declares he is precisely perfect! But as Claus grows, the little boy worries that he is different from other kids: he has a loud hearty laugh, he likes to wear red all the time, and his favorite hangout is the workshop with his grandmother. And at hockey, he helps the other team win because he doesn't want the players to feel bad. When Claus confides to Grannie that he'd rather be more like the other kids, she tells him his differences make him special. She tells him to be himself, "Just be Claus." Claus is sure Grannie is wrong. But then a snowstorm threatens to ruin Christmas. Can Claus figure out a way to use what makes him special to help save the holiday?
|Kindergarten - Grade 3
|ATOS Reading Level
|Guided Reading Level
|Sleeping Bear Press
|Hardcover (9781534111011), PDF (9781534192348), Hosted ebook (9781534192461)
|Number of Pages
|10 x 10
School Library Connection - Just Be Claus
“Joosse’s latest offering is a Clausian origin story with sweetness rivaling the holiday’s titular treats.”
Kirkus Reviews - Just Be Clause
“Little Clausie has always been different—but that turns out to be a good thing for everyone in town. When young Clausie is born, he doesn’t look like the other babies, and he doesn’t cry. By age 6, Clausie is even more unusual. He wears the same red outfit day after day. His laugh is different. He is so considerate that he can’t play competitive sports. And his dog, Dasher, is very, very big. In Clausie’s “supersecret” workshop, he and Grannie make toys and doodads. It’s Grannie who assures him that being different is wonderful: “You’re one of a kind!” But Clausie isn’t convinced. When a major snowfall closes the roads and the train tracks just before Christmas, Clausie worries about all his neighbors who won’t receive their gifts from family members far away. Clausie makes a plan. His family helps him get ready, and Dasher helps him with deliveries…and the whole town is delighted with what becomes the beginning of a tradition. Grannie was right: His differences make others happy. With energetic strokes and expressive gestures, Barnes’ illustrations are lively and engaging. The story’s sweet message of self-acceptance combines well with the idea that Santa could be a legend based on a very thoughtful person. Clausie and his family are depicted as White; there is some racial diversity among the townspeople and friends. A refreshing angle on the (very) oft-told tale.”
Author: Barbara Joosse
Barbara Joosse is the author of 57 books for children, including Everybody’s Tree; Mama, Do You Love Me?; and The Fishermen, the Horse, and the Sea. She lives in a little harbor town on Lake Michigan. When her grandchildren sleep over on snowy nights, she reassures them that the growling sound outside their window isn’t really a monster—it’s the noisy snowplow!
Illustrator: Kimberley Barnes
Kim Barnes has drawn ever since she was a young child. Her clients include Little Tiger and Macmillan Education. She lives on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom.