A new children’s book has arrived, certain to get your little one in the Sinterklaas spirit! 

We don’t have a lot of Sinterklaas related books or items in my household. Not by design, but that’s just how things have worked out. My (Dutch) husband comes from an extremely secular home and before kids came along, it had been years since his family celebrated Sinterklaas. I was first exposed to the holiday five years ago, but really only started celebrating it when my son was two, which was last year.

Right now, we only have three books in our house, including Lola’s Sint by Kristina Langarika, which was given to me for this review, so I have the opportunity to build our Sinterklaas collection from scratch with only books and items that I enjoy sharing with my children. I am absolutely comfortable keeping Lola’s Sint as part of my kids’ Sinterklaas collection. It is a cute story — about a little girl who returns a missing glove and is rewarded by being able to help Sinterklaas give out gifts to the other children — with interesting illustrations, and my kids seemed happy enough while I read the book to them. With its simple sentence structure and colorful pictures, the book particularly appealed to my just under 2-years-old daughter. Once the story was over, she took the book out of my hands and spent some extra time looking through the pages again.

Lola’s Sint is also the first bilingual book that we have in our house. All of our books are either English or Dutch, which means that depending on which books our children choose for the evening, it’s highly likely that one of us is reading a bedtime story that is not in our native language. Especially around this time of year, when Sinterklaas starts gearing up, it’s usually me. Sometimes I read (and mispronounce) the Dutch words and other times, I “read the pictures” and try to translate the story into English. Lola’s Sint solved this problem for me nicely. Although I think in some places the story flows more smoothly in Dutch than in English, all in all, Lola’s Sint  is a sweet book that focuses on the positive aspects of this Dutch tradition. Because of this, it gets to stay in our household and be a part of our family’s Sinterklaas celebration.

book review, amsterdam, sinterklaas

Amsterdam Mamas received a free copy of this book in exchange for our honest review.  

Images courtesy of Kristina Langarika. Used by permission. 

Marisa Rijpkema

Marisa is a 'third culture kid,' and while she doesn't remember ever crossing into adulthood, she now finds herself trying to integrate into Dutch life, while mastering the delicate art of being a mother, and figuring out her career as she goes.