Tour and Giveaway Keeping Christmas Magic by Anna and Gunnar Counselman


Join Us for This Tour from November 26th to December 6th


Book Details:

​Book Title:  Keeping Christmas Magic by Anna and Gunnar Counselman 

Category:  Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12), 38 pages

Genre: Children’s Book

Publisher: Mascot

Release Date: August 2021

Content Rating:  PG – It is a book about how to keep Christmas alive when your kids find out the truth about Santa.


Book Description:

Shhhh, don’t tell! Keeping Christmas Magic reveals the true story of Santa Claus, asking you to become a Christmas Magic-Keeper.


Buy the Book:


Barnes and Noble ~ Amazon

add to goodreads 


Keeping Christmas Magic by Anna and Gunnar Counselman is the real story behind Santa Clause. It tells the story from the beginning in a simple childlike way. I love that the illustrations really bring this story to life on each page with beautiful water color pictures. 

However, I wouldn’t let smaller children read this book, or I wouldn’t read this to small children because of its message. I think the book advice is 8 years old and up. But I encourage you to read the book first to see if the age is appropriate for your child. 

Keeping Christmas Magic is a beautiful book, even though the cover is a quite plain. The hardcover book is high quality and well put together. This is a great book for older children. A book that I am keeping in my library. I encourage you to check out this book, especially if you enjoy Christmas stories. 

A special thanks to the author/publisher for a copy of this book. I am not required to write a positive review, the opinions here are mine alone. I am disclosing this with my review in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.


Anna and Gunnar Counselman – Interview with the author!


Interview #1


What happened exactly with your son that inspired you to write Keeping Christmas Magic?


Our then 6-year-old son came home from school and told us that all the kids in his kindergarten were saying that Santa wasn’t real. He didn’t seem distressed by it exactly, just confused.  And he said, “And when we watched Elf the other night, it seemed like everyone kind of knew something that wasn’t being said.” Anna and I looked at each other to try to do that parent mind meld thing, where you communicate with your eyes and decide upon a course of action. Luckily, his baby sister cried and distracted us, and we were able to get him to bed without addressing the question.


Immediately after bedtime, we agreed that we wanted to get at least another year of magical Christmas for him.  But we started Googling around to see if there’s a good book or story for when the jig is up and it’s time to come clean.


We were surprised not to find anything. We’ve both been entrepreneurs for a decade and have found that truly novel ideas are pretty rare.  But after a day of searching and checking with friends without result, we decided to put pen to paper and see what we could come up with.


It was pretty cool.  The story just flowed.  


It is loosely based on the story that my (Gunnar’s) mom told me when I was six, so we just had to get the rhyme and meter right.  But when we posted it to Facebook, we had a bunch of friends who just loved it and told us we needed to publish it.


What was the writing and illustrating process like? 


To be honest, neither of us are particularly experienced writers, and Gunnar had never written poetry before outside of school.  But the story was there in its broad contours from Gunnar’s mom, and somehow when we sat down to write the first draft, it just kind of flowed out.  The current story is 90% recognizable from the very first draft.  


We didn’t actually think about publishing it to start.  We just wanted to write something for our kids.   But we posted it to Facebook and a bunch of friends were really touched by it. So, Anna did some editing and Gunnar found a bunch of example pictures that Anna could use as inspiration for the art.  Our families chimed in, and next thing you know, we had a book.  


It was a great experience to get to work as a husband-and-wife team on this.


What do you hope children/parents get out of this book?

Listen, telling your kids the truth about Santa can be tough.  We hope that the book takes an otherwise difficult conversation and makes it a beautiful moment instead. Even more, we hope that when kids sign their names in the book and become “Christmas Magic Keepers” that they’ll be less likely to tell younger kids. There’s just nothing like the feeling that Santa is coming and if we can help that last for one more year for ¼ of kids…that’s a lot of happiness.  So yeah…small ambition 🙂


What is your big ambition for the book?

We love Christmas. We love the winter and the snow, decorating for Christmas, and having people over for sing-alongs. We’d love to contribute to the Christmas tradition in our small way.


If people love the book, and it does the job that we intend for it to do – “to help make an otherwise difficult conversation a beautiful moment instead” – then we’d love it if Keeping Christmas Magic becomes a staple in people’s Christmas story.  The advent calendar gives us a great way to count down.  The Elf on the Shelf gave us an amazing way to engage kids every morning between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Plus, it’s fun for parents to find new and creative ways to move it every night.  We hope that when kids finally figure it out, that this book will give parents a lovely way to bring their kids into the secret society of Christmas Magic Keepers.  


If people love the book, we’d love it if it gets handed down from generation to generation.  Imagine seeing grandma’s 7-year-old handwriting in the book right next to dad’s and sister’s and uncles.  We hope it makes kids feel like learning the truth is a special moment that makes Christmas even better.




Meet the Authors:


​Anna and Gunnar are the husband-and-wife team behind Keeping Christmas Magic. Anna immigrated from Russia at age 12 and began her American journey in Swampscott, MA, attending Boston University before moving out to California to pursue her entrepreneurial career which has culminated in her co-founding Upstart, an AI lending platform. 

A third-generation Marine, Gunnar grew up pretty much everywhere there’s a Marine base before going to Cornell for undergrad, deploying as a Human Intelligence Officer to Iraq, the Horn of Africa and Bosnia before attending Harvard for business school. Gunnar’s entrepreneurial career has focused in education software and services where he’s founded and invested in a 


handful of companies including his most recent company, Array. 

When their then-six-year-old son Tristan started asking hard questions about Santa, they didn’t have good answer. Wanting to keep Christmas as magical as possible for as long as possible they looked for a children’s book to help and when they couldn’t find one, they wrote it. 


Originally, the poem was just for Tristan and his baby sister Sasha, but some close friends convinced them to submit it for publishing and the more they worked on the story, the more they felt like it needed to be told. They hope that the book does for parents around the world, what’s it’s done for them, help make an otherwise difficult conversation a 

beautiful experience instead.



connect with the authors:  website ~ goodreads



Tour Schedule:


​Nov 26 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway

Nov 26 – The Momma Spot – book review / giveaway

Nov 29 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book review / giveaway

Nov 29 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway

Nov 29 – I’d Rather Be At The Beach – book review / author interview / giveaway

Nov 30 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway

Nov 30 – Laura’s Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway

Dec 1 – Chit Chat with Charity – book review / guest post / giveaway

Dec 1 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review / giveaway

Dec 2 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway

Dec 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway

Dec 6 – @twilight_reader – book review

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