A slight story about Santa’s countdown to Christmas Eve is paired with nostalgic, soft-focus illustrations with changeable picture cutouts and gatefold flaps offering surprises within the art.
The cover illustration with a round die-cut shows Santa at home in his spectacles, checking his list. As the cover is opened, this picture changes to a view of the elves and reindeer sorting through Santa’s mailbag. Regular spreads alternate with three additional gatefold flaps and changeable pictures, all in a pleasant, soft-focus style, showing Santa’s busy workshop, barn and cozy parlor, where he rests before his big night. The text pages count down from December 19 to December 24, with Santa and the reindeer taking off against a full moon on the final page. The changeable picture there shows a large, snow-covered home, and when the gatefold is opened, two children stand at their window, looking up at the illustration of Santa and his sleigh. The pages are sturdy cardboard, although the binding will need reinforcement if the volume receives heavy use.
The forgettable text is just a placeholder to accompany the illustrations, but the novelty of the changeable pictures and movable flaps will interest younger children during the long days before Christmas. (Picture book. 3-5)