Book Review: Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies and James Newman Gray

Book Review: Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies and James Newman Gray

Miracle on 34th Street
Valentine Davies
James Newman Gray
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

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What the Book is About

Susan and  her mother don’t believe in Santa Clause. Afterall, he’s made up just like the tooth fairy, right? This is a re-telling of the classic story of Miracle on 34th Street. 

First Impressions

The illustrations in this book are stunning and the Christmas themed borders on the pages are beautiful. The drawings are what initially excited me about this book.

What I Liked

I love the magic of the book. My children don’t know about Santa Claus or believe in him either. As a mom of children with Autism, I chose not to teach them about these characters at a young age or they would have thought I was lying to them. Raising kids with Autism makes things challenging. 

I love that Santa takes the time to teach Susan about pretend and how to use her imagination. If I’d had this book to read to my little ones when they were small enough to believe in Santa, I might have considered telling them about Santa under the guise of pretend. 

Another thing I really like is that Santa distinguishes that not all wishes should come true. For example, just because we think we should have a new bike, doesn’t mean that’s what is best for us right now.

What I Didn’t Like

I didn’t particularly enjoy the part where Santa was taken to court. The evidence for him being real was flimsy and superficial. I think the judicial process being used in this way is ridiculous and while I know this is a kids book, it just fell flat for me.

Additionally, I felt like someone should have told them that the house was for them to explore. I don’t like the idea of teaching children that they can walk into a house they think is theirs and that it’ll turn out to be theirs and have no danger attached to it.

Final Thoughts

The book was fun. I think many young children would enjoy this book. I personally won’t read it again, but I hope that if you’re a fan of Miracle on 34th Street that you’ll really enjoy it.


I was provided a copy of this book through the website Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Jabberwocky and Valentine Davies for making this book available for review.

Finley Jane Farmer is a non-binary mother of 2. When they’re not homeschooling their son (with Autism) or running after their preschool daughter, they are busy knitting, reading, and drinking a good cup of coffee. Finley wants to share their joy of reading with the world by reviewing books whether old or available for pre-order. They hope that they can share the best parts of the magical worlds contained within the books, providing you with an endless list of adventures to sate your reading appetite.

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