This import from Great Britain features an extra-large format and sweet, soft-focus illustrations in a cheery interpretation of the favorite Christmas poem.
Instead of the father of the family waking up to meet Santa, this version finds a young boy awakened by the clatter out on the lawn. The boy, Sam, gets up with his teddy bear “to see what was the matter,” while the parents remain “nestled all snug” in their own bed. Sam creeps downstairs in blue-striped pajamas, and there he spies Santa passing out toys and presents. This twist of the narrator from father to child gives the story freshness and immediacy for children. The illustrations are greeting-card pretty, with a contemporary palette including lavender and lime green. This Santa is on the short side, befitting the “jolly old elf” of the text, and his smiling demeanor wouldn’t give a spying child anything at all to dread. He is shown on the cover in his sleigh, his team of reindeer in flight along a path of sparkly stars that indicate their magical power. This is a serviceable edition of the time-tested Christmas classic, with pages of sturdy, coated paper that will stand up to heavy use. The illustration style is simple enough to use this as a first introduction to the story for young preschoolers.
Not an exceptional edition of the poem but an accessible one. (Picture book. 2-6)