Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2009
From the dust jacket, “It is the night before Christmas and Splat wonders if he’s been a good enough cat this year to deserve a really big present. Just to make sure, he offers some last-minute help to his mom and, in typical Splat fashion, he messes up completely! That night Splat stays awake hoping to see Santa Claus. But when Splat misses him, he’s sure his Christmas is ruined—along with his hopes for a really big Christmas present….”
I fell in love with Splat when I read (and reviewed) his Halloween book, Scaredy-Cat Splat. His body is so fat and square and his legs so skinny and his face is squeezably adorable. In this outing Splat is desperate to make sure he has enough good deeds under his belt so Santa will bring him a present. I also met Splat’s little sister who, like all little sisters, is obnoxious and sweet at the same time. My favorite part of the book was where Splat decorated the Christmas tree – so funny!! And, of course, Santa being the benevolent being he is, brings Splat a present anyway!
Rating 4 out of 5 paws – a wonderfully written and illustrated book filled with lighthearted holiday fun!
From the dust jacket, “The cat’s out of the bag and adventure awaits! When Slipper finds Mr. Furry Boots in her house, she does what any cat would do and investigates. But curiosity gets the best of her when she finds herself on a trip she hadn’t planned on taking…
“Join Slippers as she discovers that the best journey is the one home – especially for the holidays.”
This book is beautifully illustrated and sparingly narrated. The pictures really don’t need words – the author could have gone completely wordless and the story wouldn’t have been any less enjoyable. A lovely, calming story to read to kittens, especially on Christmas Eve, in anticipation of Mr. Furry Boots’ arrival with toys, even for cats!
If you love beautiful books, put this one on your Christmas wish list – we did!
Rating 5 out of 5 paws for a heartwarming story with illustrations both gorgeous and dreamy.
Pictures by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin, 2014
From the dust jacket, “Ho, ho…who? Cat! Not again. the holidays are around the corner, and Cat knows what he has to do. But being nice…it doesn’t come naturally. Still, Christmas is a time of year for miracles and with a little luck, even Cat may find the holiday spirit—and a festive surprise of his own.”
Cat is one of LoC’s favorite recurring characters. I reviewed “Here Comes Easter Cat” and “Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat” earlier this year (click on the titles for those reviews) and I even have one more, but that one doesn’t come out until next year. Love, love, love “Here Come … Cat” books! His expressions are priceless! In the illustrations below you’ll see what I mean. The book is written to be read aloud – at least that’s the way I read it – I like to read it to my fursiblings so they can laugh, too.
In this book, Cat dresses up as Santa so he can give himself a Christmas gift – he doesn’t quite understand the process of giving just yet. But he learns and gets a very special treat in the end! Maybe this would be a good book for some naughty kittens out there so they can learn to be nice!! No negatives on these pages. Just wonderful, fabulous, laugh-out-loud-funny Cat!!!!
Rating 5 out of 5 paws – and we wouldn’t have it any other way!!!!
P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group, 2014
From the dust jacket: “Who is the animal’s Santa?” Little Snow asks. Big Snowshoe doesn’t know. But he leaves us presents every Christmas, he tells Little Snow. Maybe he’s a badger or a polar bear, a moose or a wolf? the animals chime in. But they say they have never seen him, and that makes Little Snow wonder. He is sure they are just fooling him. On Christmas Eve, Big Snowshoe figures out a way for the animals to see Santa. Their first glimpse is unforgettable, and never again will an excited Little Snow doubt that there is an animal’s Santa. Young children will pore over magical illustrations of Little Snow and all the forest animals celebrating Christmas in the snowy far north under a brilliant night sky.”
This little book made me smile. I smiled at the sweetness of the story; at Little Snow’s (a snowshoe hare) refusal to believe because no one had seen Santa; at his brother, Big Snow’s efforts to help him believe; and at the delightful illustrations by the author. (All the Northern Canadian animals are dressed in sweaters and vests that reminded me of Nordic designs.) This is a magical book that will bring joy to all who read it. The text is large and consistent so it will be easy for experienced readers to read on their own and for early readers to follow along.
Translation (from German) by Oliver G. Latsch Illustrated by Paul Howard Chicken House, Scholastic, 2006
What a great story for Christmas!!! It is a wonderful chapter book with lovely illustrations that would make for great bedtime reading or for reading by the Christmas tree on the nights leading up to the BIG DAY. The last of the real Santas is snoozing in his caravan, which is being pulled through the nighttime sky by the last reindeer, when a storm blows up with lightening and thunder. The storm scares the reindeer, he breaks his harness and flies off, leaving Santa and his caravan careening through the sky until he crash lands in a village, on a back street called Misty Close. Why is he the last Santa? What will he do with his broken caravan? How will he get anywhere on Christmas Eve with no reindeer? These questions and more are asked and answered – of course the most important question of all: Is Santa Claus real? YES!!, of course he is!!
*Niklas Goodfellow, the last of the Real Santa’s, is being hunted down by Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, a Santa who sees Christmas only as for-profit scheme
*Ben, a shy, young boy who rarely speaks because of a stutter, finds himself keeping company with Santa, 2 angels, a whole host of elves and a girl! *Charlotte, a younger girl and her dog, Mutt, join Ben in Santa’s caravan for hot chocolate and gingerbread; they later set off to find Twinklestar, Santa’s reindeer who ran off during the storm
Other Important Characters:
*Matilda and Emmanuel, angels who make gingerbread and hot chocolate and listen to children’s dreams at night to find out what they really wish for
*Rufflebeard, Goldbeard, Specklebeard, Firebeard and all the rest ‘—beard’s, real Christmas elves who can repair Santa’s caravan (when they feel like it), make Christmas toys and have a real penchant for cursing – saying things like “booger-burps and reindeer poo!” and “smelly goblin farts!”
*Dean, a local bully who challenges Ben daily
*Gerold Geronimus Goblynch, Niklas’ nemesis, whom we really don’t meet until near the end of the story but is nonetheless important.
As I said, this is a really great book. I loved it because there is a clear good versus bad theme; it is appropriate for children of all ages, literally 0-100+; and it delights the imagination. For kids it helps them believe just a little bit longer in the wonder of Santa Claus. For adults, it reminds them of their youth when they believed and maybe they can believe in His Spirit once again. This is a book to be read every year at Christmas.