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SANTA CLAUS by Marla  Frazee Kirkus Star

SANTA CLAUS

The World’s Number One Toy Expert

By Marla Frazee (Author) , Marla Frazee (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-15-204970-3
Publisher: Harcourt

This unusual view of Santa Claus focuses solely on the jolly old fellow himself, because in Frazee’s interpretation, dedicated Santa does all the work, all the time and all alone, from initial toy selection to final package delivery. He visits with numerous children and visits many others in his dreams, does research at his computer (asleep, head on desk), keeps meticulous records (hundreds of Post-its) and stockpiles all the toys in his vast warehouses. He tests mechanical toys (including a long, Frazee-style curl of pogo-stick bounces), bonds with stuffed animals, wraps everything and then carefully selects the right toy for each child. The concluding pages show two dozen children unwrapping their special gifts, with an exhausted Santa enjoying his own toy, a red bicycle, after his Christmas duties are done. Frazee uses her trademark approach in her colored-pencil and gouache illustrations, showing multiple images of Santa on a page to indicate motion or passage of time and adding typical Frazee humor to the mix. Her Santa has a genuine personality and some real-world workplace issues of overwork and frustration, but also pride in a job well done. An oversized, horizontal format adds to the unique view of this Santa’s workaday world. (Picture book. 4-7)