Kirkus Reviews QR Code


Christmas Special

by James Sturm & Andrew Arnold & Alexis Frederick-Frost

Age Range: 5 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59643-730-2
Publisher: First Second/Roaring Brook

This lightweight, mildly humorous story about Santa, his favorite elf and a Christmas knight advises kids to draw their own comic strips, though no practical help is offered in drawing instruction.

Santa and his Magical Cartooning Elf decide to create a Christmas comic book for distribution to children on Christmas Eve. They are assisted by a knight who has assorted adventures with a yeti, some giant children and a dragon who is pressed into service to deliver the completed comic books. On Christmas morning, children around the world are inspired to start making their own comics. Young readers are encouraged to send their original comics showing favorite things, places or foods to the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, presumably for the next installment in the series. The rhyming text is a bit singsong, with some corny puns and some funny asides, but it also uses a hip, self-deprecating tone and current computer terms that let kids know the authors are up on the latest. The cartoon illustrations use varying panel layouts with hand-lettered speech balloons and backgrounds in cool green to set off the holiday reds.

Wrapped up with some drawing paper and pens, this clever Christmas cartoon construction might spark some creative projects. (Graphic picture book. 5-10)