Earthly Santa meets a host of alien counterparts in this well-meant holiday tale.
When an amazed Santa witnesses the crash of a flying saucer (“Electrons and protons measured the sky, / As the sound of sleigh bells followed it by”), he just has to help. He joins Jupnick from Jupiter and a teeming crowd of other aliens garbed in red and white fur to help Venick from Venus finish delivering toys until “Christmas shined wonderously before morning’s bright light.” Years later, the aliens return to rescue Christmas on this planet, then sail off singing “Merry Christmas Good Earth, and a Happy New Year!” in “voices of gold.” Much in need of editorial work, the text is not only clumsily modeled on “The Night Before Christmas,” with some Seussian influences, but does not always match the optional audio reading. The cheerily colored, roughly brushed art makes a better impression, as do the tap-activated digital additions—which range from waving pseudopods and whirling stars to Santa’s hearty “Ho-Ho-Ho”s (plus one bellowed “GREAT CAESAR’S GHOST!”) and a variety of chortles.
A promising premise and appealing pictures—but no great improvement over the obscure 2004 print version. (thumbnail index, five savable coloring pages) (iPad holiday storybook app. 6-8)