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.
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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 SnelsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved