A dynamic picture-book duo turn their attention to one of the great mysteries of our time.
For those literal-minded children out there, this book serves to answer some essential questions about basic Santa-related logistics. We all know that Santa is supposed to go down the chimney to deliver gifts, but how? “Does he cinch up his belt? Or shrink himself down to the size of a mouse?” That particular speculation is accompanied by an image of a small Santa standing on the edge of a chimney looking down into the abyss. Synched perfectly with Barnett’s gentle yet hilarious questions and often silly propositions (“Or does he slip through the pipes and come out of your faucet?”), Klassen’s tan-skinned Santa is as funny and expressionless as a bearded Buster Keaton. Curiosity runs wild as Barnett ponders everything from Santa doing the laundry in children’s basements to his ability to get along with every household dog he meets, while Klassen’s there to bring each possibility to life. Don’t look for any definitive answers in this story, though. As the last line states, “Santa goes up the chimney the same way he comes down. And I have no idea how Santa does that. But I’m so glad he can.” For all that it leans heavily on absurdity, this book exhibits some serious heart. (This book was reviewed digitally.)
In the market for an understated Christmas classic? Behold! A Christmas miracle!(Picture book. 4-7)