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Spread Joy with Janie Emaus!

Hello-Ho-Ho, readers! We're so excited to have the amazing Janie Emaus with us today. Janie is sharing her heartwarming book, Latkes for Santa Claus. Latkes for Santa Claus (illustrated by Bryan Langdo) follows Anna who's excited to have Santa visit her home for the very first time. Follow Anna on her mission to find the perfect treat for Santa that represents both Christmas and Hanukkah. Want to know more about Janie and her book, and want an opportunity to win a copy of her book for the Holiday Season? Read on...

Q: Welcome to #SeasonsOfKidLit, Janie! We’re excited to have you and learn more about you and the books you write! Can you share a little about yourself with us?

A: My writing career started with my sister. I would read her the newspaper and insert her name into the story. Her eyes would widen and she’d get all excited, thinking she was really in the paper. In those moments, I realized how easy it was to make up stories and how happy it made my sister. So, I thought, why not write for a wider audience and bring joy to as many people as possible? Today, I write books for kids and adults, and magazine pieces for women and veterans. No matter the topic, I always approach it with humor.

Q: How did you come to writing holiday-related books? Was it on purpose, or accidental?

A: It was definitely on purpose. I was raised Jewish and my husband was raised Catholic. In fact, I never had a Christmas tree until we married. He had no idea how to light a Menorah until he met me. When our children were young, I began wondering if they were confused by celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah. I tried finding a book, one that was fun and cheerful, showing kids celebrating both holidays. And when I couldn’t find one, I did what any good writer does, and I wrote one myself thinking it would sell quickly. Twenty years later, it finally found a home. And I hope it finds its way into many homes this holiday season.

Q: Tell us a little about your winter holiday-related book.

A: Latkes for Santa Claus is a story about a Jewish girl, Anna, whose new family celebrates Christmas. Anna just knows that Santa must be bored with cookies. She is going to find him a better treat, one that introduces Santa to Jewish foods. Her step-brother, Michael, on the other hand, insists that Santa loves his cookies. The siblings bicker. Michael bakes. Anna suggests various foods that are difficult for Santa to eat while on his sleigh. In the end, Anna and Michael realize they need each other. The book includes a cookie recipe and our family’s traditional latke recipe at the end.

Q: YUM, Janie! What is a unique way in which your family celebrates the holidays?

A: The women in our family gather every year to make latkes for our Hanukkah dinner. And my youngest grandson and I hang twinkle lights all over the house: blue ones for Hanukkah, green and red for Christmas.

Q: Are there any books from you on the horizon that you’d like us to know about?

A: My next blended holiday book, Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls, is coming out in January 2023. In this book Michael wants to make Anna’s first Easter special by finding something Passover related to put inside the Golden Egg. He works with the Easter Bunny to make that happen. As in LATKES, the siblings realize the holidays are better when they share them with each other. The book includes a glossary of Passover and Easter terms as well as a delicious recipe for matzo ball soup.

Thanks again for joining us, Janie! We can't wait to read your books.

A note for our readers: be on the lookout! Janie is returning to #SeasonsOfKidLit next year to talk about her new book, Easter Eggs and Matzo Balls!

Q: How would you like to Spread Joy this holiday season?

A: I'd like to gift two copies of Latkes for Santa Claus!

WOW! Thanks so much for such a joyful treat!

Giveaway Details: To be entered to win (1) of (2) copies of Latkes for Santa Claus, please leave a comment below thanking Janie for stopping by and letting her know why you can't wait to read her book! The winners will be announced on or about Friday, December 16th!

*Note: books will be shipped in the US only.

Reminder, those who comment on every post will be eligible to win (1) of (5) RYS Speedpasses or a special book package!

About Janie Emaus

Janie Emaus believes when the world is falling apart, we’re just one laugh away from putting it together again. Her picture book, Latkes for Santa Claus was a finalist in the 2022 International Book Award. Easter Eggs& Matzo Balls, her second blended holiday picture book will be released early 2023. She is also the author of the adult novel, The Time Traveling Matchmaker. Her essays, stories and articles have been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and websites. To learn more about Janie visit her at

For more about Janie, you can follow her at the below links: Facebook:

To purchase Janie's books, or to leave a review, click here.


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I love the concept of your books. What an entertaining, poignant way to show acceptance and diversity to children. And the illustrations look so engaging.


I love that you wrote a book that includes characters sharing their different holidays together! Thank you for sharing how you came to write it. Your patience and persistence in getting it published is inspiring!


I like that you saw a void and wrote a picture book to fill it. And the fact it took twenty years for it to be published fills me with hope my picture book manuscripts will someday find a home.

Janie Emaus
Janie Emaus
Dec 12, 2022
Replying to

Hi - Yes, don't ever give up! Happy Holidays.


Dec 07, 2022

I grew up in a neighborhood where everyone went to the same church. I am thankful that today's children have ample opportunities to see a diversity of thought. Thanks for your picture books that help children to grow. It would be wonderful to share your books with my grandchildren.


Latkes are so yummy and can be served in so many fashions...nom nom! Would love to see how Santa feels about this new treat; I'm sure the reindeer had to wait a little extra longer while he dined! Thanks for sharing your story, J anie!

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