Back in the 1940s and ’50s, when comic books’ readership skewed far younger than it does today, Christmas-themed comics were a cherished annual tradition. Comics archaeologist Yoe has unearthed nearly two dozen of these seasonal stories for this nostalgic compilation. Lighthearted secularism is the order of the day: the only religious selection is a rather stodgy account of the Nativity. The standouts are five yarns by Walt Kelly, whose “How Santa Got His Red Suit” shows that if he hadn’t created Pogo, he could have moved on to a successful career in children’s books (as did Richard Scarry, who here recasts “The Shoemaker and the Elves” with Santa’s elves). The other comics auteur represented is Little Lulu’s John Stanley, whose five contributions are more broadly humorous: in one, the North Pole polar bears try to convince Santa to let them pull his sleigh, despite their inability to fly. The collection will be enjoyed most by those in the age group the comics were originally aimed at—children young enough to still believe in Santa—but reminiscing adults will likely be charmed by the whimsy as well. Grades 1-4. --Gordon Flagg
About the Author
Craig Yoe is a former creative director for The Muppets, Disney, and Nickelodeon. He has authored nearly 50 books and lives in the Hudson Valley, New York.
Clizia Gussoni lives in Peekskill, New York.