Little Santa by John Agee


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)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0803739060
ISBN-13: 978-0803739062


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In book two of the Moosa series Moosa finds himself helping Santa deliver presents after Dancer gets injured.

A mischievous young thief is hurled through time on an adventure to discover forgiveness and the true meaning of Christmas.

Sandy Claws is a humorous animal parody of the Christmas stories, featuring a red lobster, appropriately named “Sandy Claws.” His quirky animal friends share the entire Christmas experience, culminating in the daring Christmas Eve flight to provide gifts for those in need. The satirical spoof features the warmth of close friends, danger, and subtle lifetime lessons. Originally a bedtime story the author told to his small children some thirty-five years ago, the narration is being released as a book for his grandchildren’s generation to enjoy.

Carrie is a little girl living in a sunny warm place. Soon, her family moves north. Everything is new and exciting as Carrie experiences a cold winter for the first time.

Christmastime has arrived! Ambette and Pierre Philippe hurry off to their favorite park in Paris, France. The 4 year-old twins are bringing a Christmas surprise to their two favorite ducks, Louis and Bona. What can the surprise be?

The Marshalls, a family wrapped up in their holiday traditions, can hardly wait to celebrate the season by decorating their Christmas tree. But to their surprise, their tree, Treena, has come to set the record straight and teach them what Christmas is really about!

Ricky’s Christmas Tree by Guido Van Genechten

The art and prose of Guido van Genechten returns in this classic Christmas story of one bunny’s pursuit for a Christmas tree.

It’s almost Christmas, but Ricky’s family doesn’t have a tree yet because his parents have been so busy. Dad begrudingly takes Ricky on his tree quest, as long as they make it quick. While Ricky takes in all the winter beauty and fun around him, his father pushes him to fine the tree and get back home. When the Christmas tree falls off the sled, Ricky’s enthusiasm for winter play becomes infectious, and soon Dad and Mom are caught up in the joys of the season.

This is a beautiful story made even lovelier by van Genechten’s adorable artwork. I love his books because they capture the heart of a child so well. As I was reading , I wondered if this is how my kids see me–constantly working, not appreciating the little things that make life worth living.

Ricky’s Christmas Tree is probably going to end up being my favorite van Genechten book. He’s truly done a wonderful job with this one. It would make the perfect gift any time of the year.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Clavis Publishing
  • ISBN-10:1605371068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371061
  • SRP:  $16.95

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for this review.



This is a book I read for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. To see my original list visit here. I have now read 6 books for this challenge.

Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls Illustrated by Veronica Vasylenko

Two beloved wintertime songs have been added to pictures thanks to Tiger Tales Books and talented artist Veronica Vasylenko.

The mouse family is celebrating taking a wintertime sleigh ride as they pack up the adults and the children in their “one-horse open sleigh.” Over the hills they go, bells jingling on the horse’s tail, playing their instruments, and arriving at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

In this beautifully illustrated padded board book, Jingle Bells the song comes alive in a new way. The glitter varnish on the cover and inside pages gives it a wintery glow that will captivate young readers ages 2- 5.

The mouse family returns in Deck the Halls, where they are getting ready for Christmas by decorating the tree, sitting around the Yule log, baking treats, and entertaining friends. Like Jingle Bells, Vasylenko has captured the joys of the season with her little mouse family. With lights and door jambs decorated with holly leaves, and holly berries adorning the walls, there is so much for young readers to enjoy.

These books are quick reads that will be fun to read aloud and sing aloud. They would make great storytime books. I like that they remained consistent between the two books, formatting them the same, using the same font on each, and using the glitter varnish on each padded board book.

These are definitely books you and your kids can enjoy all season long!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Jingle Bells

  • Publisher:Tiger Tales
  • ISBN-10:1589258215
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258211
  • SRP:  $8.95

Deck the Halls

  • Publisher:Tiger Tales
  • ISBN-10:1589258681
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258686
  • SRP:  $8.95

I received FREE copies of these book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.



This book completes 4 out of the 4 books I agreed to read for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. To see my list visit here.

Kevin’s Christmas by Liesbet Slegers

Toddlers will love sitting down with you to read Kevin’s Christmas by Liesbet Slegers.

It’s Christmas time. Kevin and his family get ready. They put up a tree, set the nativity at the base of their tree, send out greeting cards, and buy food for the Christmas meal. How exciting!

I love Slegers’s books. She really knows how to get in touch with a child’s heart and mind. In this adorable new release in her Kevin and Katie series, young Kevin gets involved in Christmas preparations for the first time. The story speaks to toddlers using words they will be familiar with and has Kevin acting in ways similiar to this age group. Young readers will feel his excitement and joy in sharing this holiday with his family.

The artwork Slegers creates for this one is wonderful. It’s simple, yet uses great colors that will captivate young readers. I also like the multicultural aspect of the book. When Cousin Sally arrives we see she is African American. It’s a subtle message, but one that makes you appreciates family diversity, and can help show kids that differences are great.

This is a sweet story that would make a perfect gift.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Clavis Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1605371041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605371047
  • SRP:  $12.95

I received a FREE copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinions. I did not receive monetary compensation of any kind for this review.


This book completes 2 out of the 4 books I agreed to read for The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge. To see my list visit here.