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Little Santa Hardcover – October 17, 2013
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*Starred Review* Mr. and Mrs. Claus live at the North Pole with their children—Larry, Mary, Willy, Millie, Joey, Zoe, and Santa. Life’s not easy, what with the constant chores. Only little Santa (decked out in a red-hooded onesie) savors both the work and the fun of living in a snowy land. Also, he likes sliding down the sooty chimney. Finally, the Claus family has had enough. They are moving to Florida—until a blizzard snows them in. It’s up to Santa to climb up the chimney and get help, first in the form of a flying reindeer and then from a houseful of elves. The story itself is amusing, albeit a bit thin, but the pictures are flat-out wonderful. A clever oversize design gives the pages importance, and the art has the same scope and vision. Using a mostly snow-white background (natch), Agee sets up his thickly outlined characters to fill the pages. The scope of the artwork allows readers to see all sorts of clever details. In one inventively packed picture of the elves at work, viewers are able to pick out Santa only by his red hood. In fact, most of the funny moments come in the art, as when Santa initially spies the reindeer, and he is buried so deep in the snow that he thinks the animal’s horns are a tree branch. Thanks to the short text and big pictures, this will be especially fine for holiday story hours. Make it a tradition! Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ilene Cooper
“Santa’s origins are explained in [this] quirky exploration of how Santa, the elves and the flying reindeer found their callings . . . A cheerful, original Christmas tale.”—Kirkus (starred review)
Praise for Little Santa:
An ALA Notable Book
A Booklist Editors' Choice Book
* "Agee’s lighthearted tone, sly jokes, and signature simple shapes . . . capture a joyful kid sharing his sense of wonder."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "Make it a tradition!"—Booklist, starred review
* "His red suit and his smile make little Santa stand out in his glum family, and this amusing story stands out in a similar way as a cheerful, original Christmas tale."—Kirkus, starred review
* "Crisp storytelling, bold lines, and expert page turns make the book ideal for group sharing—and kids will be asking for it all year round."—Horn Book, starred review
* "The matter-of-fact style of the narrative pairs well with Agee’s signature humorous cartoon illustrations. No doubt this amusing explanation of Santa’s humble beginnings will be enthusiastically received at holiday storytimes."—School Library Journal, starred review
Top customer reviews
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As a storybook it is perfect to read to preschoolers -- big pictures, few words, a compelling story that engages the imagination and allows the child to project themselves into the scenes. Well done.