An irreverent, humorous holiday-themed picture book for adults.
Bentosino takes readers through the alphabet in a gently off-kilter tour of the many frustrations and uplifting moments of annual gift-giving holidays, accompanied by what appear to be clip-art images. She attempts to be as nondenominational as possible (“H is for holidays / Jesus is only one reason / For this best, most wonderful season / There’s Hanukkah, / The festival of light / Then there is Solstice / With the longest night”), but the book’s frequent mentions of Santa Claus, the three wise men, Jesus and the virgin birth show that it’s mainly concerned with the traditional Christmas season (“M is for Mary, who went into labor / So Christ could bring peace to you and your neighbor”). During that desperate time, it may serve readers well as a last-minute, all-purpose gift. The humor throughout is softly middle-of-the-road, with just a few detours into the holiday’s naughtier side; spiked eggnog is mentioned, for example, as are gifts of racy underwear. For the most part, Bentosino evokes common holiday hassles that afflict everyone, from competitive house-decorating and mounting bills to elaborate dinner entrees and the age-old question of what to tell children when they ask if Santa’s real (and how to react if they spot him kissing their mother). Many of these verses are the type that may raise a quick chuckle at an office Christmas party (“Z is for Santa’s zipper that got stuck / All he could say was, WTF?”). Parents should therefore heed the book’s “adult” designation, since children may find one or two entries disturbing, such as a gag about Santa getting stuck in the chimney and dying. As the book’s alphabet winds down, the entries begin to look past Christmas—not only to the mess of unwrapped gifts, but also to the New Year.
A pleasant stocking stuffer that twinkles with humor.