Santa’s Story

Amazon/Two Lions. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542043380.
PreS-Gr 1–Santa is ready to make his Christmas deliveries, but his reindeer fail to heed his repeated calls to hitch up to the sleigh. “Dancer danced, Vixen vexed,” “Cupid crooned,” “Donner dozed,” and each of the others continued doing their own thing. Santa tries repeatedly to call his team to action, but the sound of his horn, the ringing of his sleigh bells, and even his jolly “HO! HO! HO!” are ignored. Finally, taking his cue from Comet, pictured commenting, “WOW!” as he reads a book, Santa announces, “STORY TIME!” Surrounded by his attentive animals, he reads their favorite, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” The text is brief, with comical alliterative descriptions of the reindeer’s activities and their comments on the reading. Humor abounds in the digitally created cartoon illustrations as well. Santa’s horn stretches across a spread. He appears on skis searching through binoculars atop a hill. Cupid croons “It’ll be a kissin’ Christmas!” into a mike suspended from a tree branch. “Let’s bring a/merry Christmas to ALL,/and to ALL a good night,” Santa calls, as he and the reindeer, finally ready, fly across the sky.
VERDICT Interesting vocabulary, a touch of suspense, and a satisfying conclusion make this simple story a good addition to holiday collections. Of course, it should be followed by a reading of the reindeer’s favorite poem.

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