Ever wonder what Santa was like as a child? Award-winning author/illustrator Jon Agee brings us the funny, playful answer in this Christmas picture book destined to become a classic.
Little Santa loves the North Pole. The rest of his family? Not so much. So, when they decide to move to Florida, Santa is miserable. Lucky for him, a blizzard foils their plans. The only way out of the house is up the chimney. Up goes Santa, to look for help, and along the way, he meets a reindeer and a large group of elves, who are more than eager to join in the rescue!
With the sly humor of Jon Klassen and the read-aloud pleasure of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, this tale of Santa’s beginnings is perfect for every kid’s holiday library.
From Booklist: *Starred Review* Mr. and Mrs. Claus live at the North Pole with their children—Larry, Mary, Willy, Millie, Joey, Zoe, and Santa. Life’s not easy, what with the constant chores. Only little Santa (decked out in a red-hooded onesie) savors both the work and the fun of living in a snowy land. Also, he likes sliding down the sooty chimney. Finally, the Claus family has had enough. They are moving to Florida—until a blizzard snows them in. It’s up to Santa to climb up the chimney and get help, first in the form of a flying reindeer and then from a houseful of elves. The story itself is amusing, albeit a bit thin, but the pictures are flat-out wonderful. A clever oversize design gives the pages importance, and the art has the same scope and vision. Using a mostly snow-white background (natch), Agee sets up his thickly outlined characters to fill the pages. The scope of the artwork allows readers to see all sorts of clever details. In one inventively packed picture of the elves at work, viewers are able to pick out Santa only by his red hood. In fact, most of the funny moments come in the art, as when Santa initially spies the reindeer, and he is buried so deep in the snow that he thinks the animal’s horns are a tree branch. Thanks to the short text and big pictures, this will be especially fine for holiday story hours. Make it a tradition! Preschool-Kindergarten. –Ilene Cooper
“Santa’s origins are explained in [this] quirky exploration of how Santa, the elves and the flying reindeer found their callings . . . A cheerful, original Christmas tale.”—Kirkus (starred review)
Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Dial (October 17, 2013)