Santa’s cookie disappears on Christmas Eve, and a series of cut-out concentric circles offers possible locations for the renegade treat.
The story in this board book is simple: “After our feast, Santa’s cookie goes missing! Where could it be? / Hanging on the tree? // Is it on the wreath?” And so the tale progresses, question after question, the circles growing smaller and smaller until at last the mystery is solved. The fun of this is the concentric circles, some adorned with red sparkles, others with shiny green foil. The best are the guesses in which the circle is cleverly included in the illustration, such as the middle snowball of a snowman or the center of a keyhole. The cookie is visible all along, including from the cover, but of course the mystery of where it actually is remains hidden throughout the book. Passchier’s illustrations depict Santa as white, but other characters, including elves, are diverse. There is a consistent color palette featuring the obvious red and green along with pastel pinks, blues, and greens. There isn’t a lot of detail in the images, allowing the focus to remain on the cutouts. The book ends with a bit of a wink to the readers: “Hey, where’s Santa’s milk?” The answer to that is also on the final double-page spread, and given where the cookie winds up, it should elicit a smile.
The playful design gives this Christmas book high appeal to young readers. (Board book. 1-3)