“They were asking me, ‘Why can’t we have a tree? Is Santa coming to us? Who is Santa? What can we do for him?’ ” Peet tells PEOPLE. “They felt left out, as I think most Jewish children do, and I was exploring different ways to make sense of it.”
Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein is about a young Jewish girl who wishes she could have Christmas. The Togetherness star co-wrote the book with writer Andrea Troyer, the wife of D.B. Weiss, who co-showruns Game of Thrones with Peet’s husband David Benioff.
Peet, 43, and Troyer wrote the book two summers ago while their families were living in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where Game of Thrones films. During the writing process, they would test out portions of the book on their children.
“We’ll read them drafts at different points and see if their eyes start to glaze over in boredom,” the actress says. “Then, we’ll cut those parts.”
Even though the picture book was written for them, Peet’s three children, Frances, 8½, Molly, 5½, and Henry, 10 months, aren’t as excited as you’d expect.
“Well, now they’re bored because they’ve read it so many times,” jokes Peet.
Courtesy Random House Children’s Books
Frances is currently moving through the Harry Potter book series and plans to be a Dementor for Halloween this year.
Apart from Harry Potter, Peet and Benioff’s children are big fans of the Cartoon Network show Adventure Time, and even have Adventure Time-themed pajamas and dolls.
“I’m pretty sure it’s inappropriate,” Peet jokes. “I’ll come into the bedroom and David’s lying on the bed with the girls and they’re all laughing hysterically, usually at some kind of fart joke. Anyway, it’s too late to do anything about it now.”
She adds, “I want to make it clear that’s David’s influence!”
Dear Santa, Love Rachel Rosenstein hit shelves Tuesday. Peet and Troyer are donating a portion of the proceeds to Seeds of Peace, a camp in Maine that promotes peace by bringing children from conflict areas, such as Israel and Palestine, together.
— Chancellor Agard