Sometimes John Updike drew a Santa on Christmas cards for people close to him, and Updike, who first aspired to be an artist, often was lauded for his cleverness. So it’s fitting that the docents of The John Updike Childhood Home awarded first place in the inaugural John Updike Childhood Home Ornament Contest to a Berks County student who submitted a Santa design on a paint brush—something that one judge, an artist herself, called a “clever creation.”
Jadelynn LaSalle, a 5th grader from Governor Mifflin School District, was the winner of this year’s contest and $50 prize money.
Honorable Mentions and $25 went to Jimmy McHale, a fourth grader from Wyomissing School District, and to Mercy Drago, a fourth grader from Governor Mifflin School District. McHale went with the rabbit theme (as in the four “Rabbit Angstrom” novels), while Drago created an ornament featuring a church steeple—another prominent image in Updike’s fiction.
Entries came from four different school districts in Berks County, and “a big thank-you to all who made ornaments for the Updike house tree,” said Director of Education Maria Lester, who added that she was pleased the contest generated so much interest. “Next year I imagine we’ll have even more entries,” she said.