Santa Claus makes a few deliveries on Christmas Eve.
In droll double-page paintings, which look to be acrylics in rich, warm colors, a cheerful Santa flies his sleigh and whooshes down the chimney. Each page is embedded with a “finger-trail” (created by cutting out the top portion of the page to make an indentation and reveal a layer of patterned paper underneath) for little ones to trace the path of Santa’s flying sleigh or the reindeers’ footprints in the snow. Out of all Pasquali’s books that use the finger-trail gimmick, this one is the most effective, and the colorful touch-and-feel elements lend themselves to Santa’s annual nocturnal journey. Unfortunately, not all of the footprints have been cut away, resulting in a frustrating inconsistency for an audience that can least tolerate it. The workmanlike prose describes the scenes, while action and onomatopoeic words (“plod,” “whoosh” and “tip-toe”) accompany the finger-trail feature.
Pasquali’s talents deserve better than this erratically applied gimmick. (Board book. 18 mo.-3)