This sweet update of a beloved tradition is sure to fill any child's eyes with wonder and their dreams with sugarplums. From the adorable reindeer pulling the sleigh to the almost-plush-looking Santa, the lighthearted style of Janet Samuel's illustrations will delight youngsters and their families. A special flocking treatment and glitter on the cover draws in the eye and will be fun for children to touch. Ages 2-5.
Sabuda remains a master of the medium, constructing a series of varied and well-engineered scenes: Santa pops in and out of the chimney, beds fold out, a window shade rises and falls, and, in a clever nod to Moore's not-a-creature-was-stirring text, it's a family of mice who are receiving Santa's nighttime visit. A pull-out tab even lets readers interact, when Santa's sleigh glides out on the clouds and over an intricately realized village. It's hard to pick a favorite scene here, but you can bet that kids will love the book's pop de résistance, in which Santa's lead reindeer nearly fly right up your nose (if they don't knock you out of your chair first).
The book's first-rate production and lively pop-ups are enough to recommend it, but Sabuda goes one better by showing the thoughtful restraint to make most of the pop-ups almost entirely white. A few accents of color catch your eye (Santa's red suit and silver pipe), but--as befits such a dynamic book--the visual focus stays on the action. (All ages) --Paul Hughes