The Boy Who Lived In Pudding Lane

illus. by Gertrude A. Kay. 112p. Grafton & Scratch. Sept. 2017. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9781927979266.
Gr 2–5—Pudding Lane is in the enchanted kingdom of Old King Cole. Mother Goose and her creations all joyously live and work alongside one another. Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their young son Santa live there and run a well-loved bakery. Santa is known throughout the village for his generous spirit and love of toymaking. Readers will enjoy following Santa's adventures that ultimately lead him to the North Pole. While a few details of Santa's beginnings are not exactly convincing, this mash-up is a pure delight. Even those unfamiliar with Mother Goose's timeless rhymes will be amused by the cast of characters that play a role in Santa's formation. No surprise that some ideas are old-fashioned and a tad dated, such as Mother Goose telling an overwhelmed Mrs. Claus how wonderful it is for Santa to have five younger siblings. "It's nice to have a lot of children. Look at the Old Woman Who lives in a Shoe. She has so many children she doesn't know what to do but she wouldn't know what to do if she didn't have them, because she told me so." The writing is witty and the colorful illustrations add to the timeless appeal.
VERDICT A unusual yet engaging take on the works of Mother Goose and the origins of Santa Claus.

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