Santa Claus wants to explore the world, so he sets off on a series of adventurous trips, with a lot of assistance from Mrs. Claus.
When Santa announces his solo trip, Mrs. Claus sweetly suggests a key item for each of his adventures, explaining why he will need that equipment and ending with the repeated phrase, “for you are my jolly Santa,” echoing Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny. In each far-flung location, Santa uses the item his wife suggested, climbing Mount Rushmore, skiing in the Swiss Alps, and touring China, Italy, South Africa, Australia, and the Amazon rain forest. In each location, Mrs. Claus can be spotted in the background, hiding. Is she watching over Santa? Wistfully wishing she could participate in these adventures as an equal partner in the marriage? Finally, Santa thinks to ask Mrs. Claus if she might want to join him on a trip, an invitation she accepts with a smile. The wife who stays at home enabling her husband’s adventures out in the world is a stereotype that is well past its expiration date, as is the stereotype of the clueless man who is rescued by the smart, unacknowledged woman. Rudimentary cartoon-style illustrations show a jolly, physically active Santa and a petite, quiet Mrs. Claus holding out Santa’s equipment, valetlike, for his convenience.
Send this Santa back to the North Pole, and let Mrs. Claus run away on her own vacation. (Picture book. 4-7)