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Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner? Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 16, 2004

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 16, 2004
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile; 1ST edition (September 16, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399242716
  • ASIN: B000C4SJRK
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 10.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,177,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–When Santa invites his family and his friend Lars for Christmas dinner, things get a little raucous. Children will find funny details to appreciate in dePaola's signature drawings–executed here in a red and green palette–and lively narrative, with dialogue-balloon asides. The result is a fun celebration complete with Lars's pet polar bear and a flaming plum pudding.–V. W.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. No one ever thinks about Santa's extended family--Aunt Astrid, Cousin Ulla, or Brother Boris--but Santa does. One year he decides to invite everyone for Christmas dinner at the North Pole. While Mrs. C. gets things ready at home, Santa takes off to deliver presents on Christmas Eve, but returns just in time to greet all the relatives, including kids who complain about what Santa forgot to bring them, and his dear friend Lars, who brings his pet polar bear, Oscar. As it turns out, Santa's holiday is like many people's holidays--utter chaos. Arguments about everything from the TV set to new ways of mashing potatoes fly faster than Santa's sleigh. The part comic strip-style format cleverly reflects the busy, everyone-talk-at-once hum of a big family gathering and serves up plenty of funny asides. Warm and wonderful as Christmas cake fresh out of the oven, dePaola's softly hued, rounded illustrations shine with holiday spirit. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
You can't suppress smiles when looking at an illustration by Tomie dePaola. His pictures are happy, bright, and somehow optimistic. With over 200 books to his credit (primarily children's titles), he's lost none of his enthusiasm and verve. Each successive book is fresh, new, and enjoyed by an eager host of fans.

"Guess Who's Coming To Santa's For Dinner?" is typically exuberant dePaola, from the shiny green and red end papers to the bold full-color, full page illustrations. The book is a square (11 3/4" by 11 3/4", which makes Santa in his argyle socks more smilingly rotund than ever.

As our story opens it's a few weeks before the big day and Santa decides to invite all of his family for Christmas dinner. Well, what a family that is! There's his brother, Boris, and his brood; Sister Olga, and her crew (including grumpy Cousin Ulla plus Mistletoe and Tinsel, their dog and cat). In addition, Santa wants to invite his pal, Lars.

It was a bit surprising when Aunt Astrid arrived almost a day early to help Mrs. Claus in the kitchen. Not at all surprising was the fact that Cousin Ulla was the last to arrive. When most of the ladies adjourned to the kitchen, the men disagreed about what to watch on television. However, Sister Olga, an opera singer, saves the day (almost) by organizing a pageant.

Dinner? That may be the biggest surprise of all.

As always, Tomie dePaola enchants and entertains.

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Although I must admit that I don't always like the "signature" Tomie dePaola illustration style, this book was a welcome exception. As mentioned elsewhere, the abundance of rounded lines and the "Christmas-y" colors soften his sometimes more thick, one-dimensional look. The story concerns kind, patient, and nicely plump Santa and Mrs. Claus, as they attempt to throw a Christmas dinner party for their extended family and friends.

These characters' behavior may ring a bell for anyone who has attended or given a holiday dinner. Unlike Mr. Claus, the guests are anything but saints: Adults and children alike argue, complain, sulk, and scowl (much of this by crabby, curmudgeony, cousin Ulla). Santa's brother Boris and his brother-in-law Bertie have a snowball fight, and the Claus' friend Lars brings an univited guest: A huge white animal who looks like a polar bear but--for some reason-- is called a walrus. It appears that each elative has his or her own little idiosyncracy: Uncle Alfred, the inventor, puts his "combination, all-in-one foot massager-back scratch on Santa, who then tumbles and falls. Olga is a would-be opera singer/producer, and dePaola presents a clever subplot about her putting on a Christmas pageant before dinner. Sister Sonja makes mashed potatoes by smashing them--uncooked--with the back of a frying pan! When dinner arrives, praise for the "spread" shares billing with complaints ("No hot dogs!," "I hate this table," and "Turkey--Again!"). Cousin James' "Fiery Flaming Plum Pudding" lives up to its name, almost setting the house on fire.

Of course, by the next morning everyone is happy again (well, except for cousin Ulla, who steals the Christmas wreath...!), and all is forgiven and forgotten, although Mr. and Mrs. Claus have some cleaning to do.
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