Books by Oakley Haldeman

Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Autry and Haldeman's old Christmas song becomes a Christmas Eve story in this interpretation illustrated with realistic paintings by Whatley (Lullaby Lullabook, not reviewed, etc.). The inviting cover heralds the title in a banner of shiny gold and shows Santa's life-sized face along with a white puppy that plays a key role in the story. The puppy stows away in Santa's sleigh in the opening spread, pops out to surprise Santa in mid-flight, and becomes a longed-for Christmas gift for a little boy named Matthew in the final pages. The illustrations follow Matthew, who looks about four or five, through his Christmas Eve, as Santa arrives, exchanges notes with him, leaves the puppy, and takes off again in his sleigh in a dramatic spread with the viewer observing from a bird's-eye perspective. The words to the song are presented in short text blocks set off on oversized double-page spreads that are large enough to work well with a sing-along group and the music for the song is included on both endpapers. Though the song lyrics are primarily about Santa, they also include Christian references to prayer, following the light, and giving "thanks to the Lord above, 'cause Santa Claus comes tonight." (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >