This is a familiar Christmas theme. Over the years, in both children's song and story, Santa Claus has been variously incapacitated and his brownies or his reindeer or his wife have to muddle through. This entry in verse about Mrs. Claus getting the show on the road and mixing up the presents to everyone's delight while Santa oversleeps is uncomfortably long and unsatisfying in illustration. Needless to say, the prize winning poet has rhymed cleverly and well with plenty of thump and gusto. However, it is verse that would be difficult to memorize and it takes just over 10 minutes to read aloud -- perhaps a little longer than the prime audience for Santa Claus would care to sit still. Kurt Werth has supplied an irascible Santa in colors that emphasize a harsh orange and a drab green better suited to alloween. Nevertheless this is the sort of thing that TV likes to act out or nimate and this may be the book's eventual finale.