Santa's Gotta Go! (Hardcover)

 Our online orders are for California customers only. 

Santa's Gotta Go! By Derrick Barnes, Courtney Lovett (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Derrick Barnes, Courtney Lovett (Illustrator)
Thank you for your order


We all know that Santa Claus is one cool dude! But how is he as a houseguest? Find out in this hilarious picture book by bestselling author Derrick Barnes!

The number one thing on Monte and Mabel’s Christmas wish list is the chance to hang out with Santa Claus. So when his sleigh breaks down in their yard as he’s finishing up his last delivery, they couldn’t be more delighted--Santa’s gonna stay with them while he waits for spare parts to be delivered! It’s a dream come true . . . or is it? It turns out Santa doesn’t have a lot of experience being a houseguest, and likes to rock out late at night and swigs spaghetti sauce from the jar. But when he messes with Dad’s motorcycle and Mabel’s computer tablet, he’s gone a step too far and the whole family agrees--Santa’s gotta go! But how on earth do you kick out Santa Claus?

Readers will get a kick out of this hilarious holiday tale by New York Times bestselling author Derrick Barnes, with its funny reminder to be careful what you wish for and to remember that sharing the holiday spirit can take a lot of goodwill.

About the Author

Derrick Barnes ( is the author of the empowering New York Times bestsellers The Queen of Kindergarten, The King of Kindergarten, and I Am Every Good Thing, which won the NCTE Charlotte Huck Award and the Kirkus Prize, and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, which received a Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King Honor, the Kirkus Prize, and the Ezra Jack Keats Award. He also wrote the bestselling chapter book series Ruby and the Booker Boys. He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with his wife and their four sons.

Courtney Lovett ( was born and raised in Maryland. Since she could pick up a pencil, not a day has passed where Courtney did not draw, a sketchbook on her person wherever she went. She has since pursued an education in illustration and animation. Today, she still lives in her hometown, where she illustrates books including titles Join the Club, Maggie Diaz, and Basketball Dreams written by NBA all-star Chris Paul. When she is not making books, she teaches at a local art studio.

Praise For…

* “This contemporary, creative story portrays a Black Santa Claus who works out, sports tattoos, and only has a slight belly. Children will delight in many modern elements of the story, such as Santa ordering a part for his sleigh online using a laptop. Crisp illustrations transport readers into the comfortable and loving home of a young Black family and clearly convey the family’s emotions on their faces: exhaustion, annoyance, anger, surprise, and more. Children will love seeing an easily relatable Santa Claus and family.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“The Mack family wants to host Santa Claus, but they don’t realize what they’re in for when their wish comes true. . . . Lovett’s bright, wonderfully expressive cartoon illustrations feature a relatable Black family and a very modern Black Santa: tall and muscular with jeans, tattoos, and a red flannel shirt. Santa’s outlandish shenanigans will have readers giggling and turning pages to see how the Macks will survive his stay. A fun reminder about the holiday spirit of giving.” —Kirkus Reviews

“In this lively holiday read, a Black family hoping to welcome Santa to their home get more than they bargained for after his sleigh breaks down. . . . Via blow-by-blow text and expressive thin-lined art, Barnes and Lovett bring comedic havoc to this vision of a Santa who’s more chaotic than nice.” —Publishers Weekly

“In this silly Santa story, siblings Monte and Mabel Mack invite Santa Claus to stay with their family after his sleigh breaks down on Christmas. . . . Order is restored, and kindness and patience recognized. Lovett’s humorous digital illustrations will make readers believe in a Santa who wears skinny jeans and has several tattoos and an earring.” —The Horn Book
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593530436
ISBN-10: 0593530438
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Publication Date: October 10th, 2023
Pages: 32
Language: English