Clear Moon, Snow Moon


Clear Moon, Snow Moon

Tony Johnston

Illustrated by Guy Pofirio

Rising Moon, 2001

From the dust jacket: “’I won’t sleep a wink. I’ll listen for the shake of bells on a sleigh. Bells that say he’s come.’ Acclaimed author, Tony Johnson, captures the spirit and mystery of a visit from Santa on a peaceful winter night. Readers will rediscover the magic of the holiday season as a child anticipates the arrival of “that old man in red.” With warm and endearing illustrations, Clean Moon, Snow Soon entices children to keep turning the pages in hopes of catching a glimpse of Santa.”

Kittens everywhere excitedly anticipate Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. If you are looking for a bed- or nap-time book to help settle them, this is a good one. The illustrations are beautiful; rich in color and detail. The little boy lying in bed listening for Santa’s sleigh is very nice and you can see his Santa wishes in his eyes. The print is large and white on dark backgrounds so early readers probably won’t have any trouble reading this on their own.

Rating3 paws

reincatReviewer: Simon the ReinCat



Animal’s Santa


The Animal’s Santa

Jan Brett 

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.  

Rating 4 paws

cmas-mattReviewer Simon


When Santa Fell to Earth

When Santa Fell to Earth
Cornelia Funke

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!!

Main Characters:

Charlotte and Matilda
Niklas Goodfellow

*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:

Goldbeard, Christmas elf

*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.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws

feb 26 05abReviewer: Simon

Cornelia Funke  Cornelia Funke

  There’s a movie but we haven’t seen it! Click on the link – there’s a cool trailer for the movie. 

Other Covers


Auntie Claus

Auntie Claus

By Elise Primavera

Silver Whistle, Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1999

A Christmas tale about learning the classic lesson of ‘it is better to give than to receive’.

 Main Characters:

  • Auntie Claus
  • Sophie

Secondary Characters:

  • Chris, Sophie’s baby brother
  • and Mrs. Kringle, Sophie’s parents

 Sophie’s and Chris’s parents spoil them rotten with presents and their aunt tells them so. Each afternoon Sophie has tea with Aunt Claus who teaches her lessons about life. But right after Halloween until Valentine’s Day her aunt disappears and doesn’t tell anyone where she’s going. This year Sophie is determined to find out and she stows away among all her aunt’s luggage. Sophie finds herself at the North Pole and there learns the First and Final Rule.

The illustrations are soft , luxurious and full of color. There are hints of Sophie’s parentage everywhere – like her mother’s hair style is in the shape of a Christmas tree.

I first read this book when I was living with my mom’s sister. She gave it to my mom because she is my cousin’s aunt. She read to them every Christmas Eve for years until they felt they were too old for it (dumb teenagers!) now we read it together every year!

Rating:  5 paws  because my mom is the real Auntie Claus!

feb 26 05abReviewer: Simon

We first posted this last year, but thought it needed posting again – ’tis the season!!!!

 Elise Primavera  Elise Primavera

Santa’s Snow Cat


Santa’s Snow Cat

Sue Stainton, author

Illustrated by Anne Mortimer

Katharine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2001

Snow Cat is Santa’s favorite cat and she travels with him everywhere – especially on Christmas Eve. One Christmas Eve she becomes enchanted by the lights in the city below and accidentally falls from the sleigh. She falls into the streets of New York City and in searching for her own Santa she comes across many “nearly” Santas and being frozen and tired, she gives up hope.

Main characters –

  • Snow Cat, pure white cat with beautiful jade green eyes
  • Santa, everyone knows who he is
  • Big Lemon Moon, full moon shining brightly in the night sky
  • North Wind, blows his snow and ice everywhere


  A beautifully illustrated sweet story of reassurance that if you get lost the one who loves you the most will find you again. It is a sweet bedtime story for Christmas Eve night, to remind the reader that Christmas is more than presents and busyness. It is also about love.   Santa searches for her and lands on the “tallest of tall buildings” which, with an illustration of Santa on the World Trade Towers, provides a poignant reminder of what was lost and a promise of the future. 

Rating: 4 Paws for the purity of heart and the love of Snow Cat and Santa.

simon pawsimon pawsimon pawsimon paw

mar 5 2005a Reviewer: Simon

 Sue Stainton

Other books by Sue Stainton:


 Anne  Mortimer

Other illustrations by Anne Mortimer (there we so many to choose from, I chose only cats in winter!)


Other books illustrated by Anne Mortimer


Real live Santa’s Snow Cats…

 (image in public domain)



  from Maine Coon Nation

 from Pix for Ragdoll Cats

And finally, our own Santa’s Snow Cat, Laura (although she has yellow eyes, but don’t tell Santa!)