Press Release

Latin Version of Classic 'Yes, Virginia' Essay Rekindles Christmas Spirit Joins Latin Versions of Dr. Seuss Titles

(ARA) — Every holiday season, curious children sidle up to their parents with a look of youthful concern in their wide eyes and ask the age-old question, "Is there a Santa Claus?," scared that the wrong answer might bring an end to tree decorating, present giving or leaving cookies by the fireplace.

More than 100 years ago, a very real little girl wrote to her local newspaper because she was plagued by this same nagging doubt.

"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus," wrote 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon. "Papa says, 'If you see it in The Sun, it's so.' Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?" 

A century later, the words of the editor who responded to this query somehow manage to rekindle the Christmas spirit in even the most world-weary adults. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy," wrote Frances P. Church, editor of The New York Sun, in 1897.

"No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood," Church concluded in his famous essay.

Now these classic words have been preserved in the classic language — Latin — for scholars and students of the language to enjoy. From Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus . . . in Latin!, features a Latin translation by Walter Sauer and Hermann Wiegand, full-color illustrations by Matthias Kringe, same-page English-Latin translation, a Latin-English glossary and Christmas Memories journal pages. The book is available in special holiday season displays at Borders or Barnes & Noble stores nationwide, along with Latin versions of the Dr. Seuss classics, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Cat in the Hat."

These books are part of Bolchazy-Carducci's expanding series of materials that support a burgeoning interest in the study of Latin. A growing body of research shows that studying Latin improves students' problem-solving abilities, vocabulary and college entrance exam scores. For example, one study of sixth-grade students who studied Latin 30 minutes a day for five months showed the students advanced nine months in their math problem-solving abilities.

Another group of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders who studied Latin 15 to 20 minutes a day for a year performed a full year higher on standardized vocabulary tests than their peers who had not. And yet another study shows that students who have studied Latin in high school consistently score higher on the verbal portion of the SAT college entrance exam than students who have not studied any foreign language, as well as students who have studied other modern languages.

Bolchazy-Carducci provides many resources for Latin students and teachers, including textbooks, CD-ROMs with recordings of various pronunciations, newsletters and specialty books, including "Grinchus," "Cattus Petasatus" and this latest translation of the famous Christmas essay.

This translation provides new Latin students an opportunity to study Church's classic essay, and gives those who studied years ago a way to brush-up skills they may have thought were forgotten. For any reader, this new version of "Yes, Virginia . . ." provides an opportunity to take a break from the "information age" and reflect on the value of wonder, as expressed in Church's belief that "The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see."

Courtesy of ARA Content,, e-mail:

EDITOR'S NOTE: A free preview copy of "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus . . . In Latin!" is available by contacting Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers at or by calling (847) 526-4344.

Courtesy of ARA Content,, e-mail:

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