An amusing parody of “The Night Before Christmas,” set in an underwater world with marine life filling the familiar roles of family members and Santa.
The story is narrated by a jolly lobster with expressively bulgy eyes, and instead of children “nestled all snug in their beds,” readers meet mermaids with “visions of periwinkles” swimming though their heads. Rather than “the moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow,” our lobster narrator proclaims, “The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow / Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below.” The perfectly rhymed text is full of rich vocabulary and closely follows the original text as Santa arrives at the lobster’s underwater shipwreck home to deliver his Christmas gifts. This Santa Claus is a blue walrus in a red rubber suit commanding a conch-shell sleigh pulled by sea horses with names like Limpet and Quahog. Humorous, double-page–spread illustrations were created by combining oil paintings with digital enhancements to create the subtle layered look of the deep sea, and sparkly highlights provide an effervescent accent to underwater bubbles and the title words on the cover.
A clever and creative parody of the old holiday chestnut. (Picture book. 4-7)