Merry Christmas, Splat

Rob Scotton, Author, Rob Scotton, Illustrator . Harper $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-083160-8

The high-strung but well-meaning Splat, from Splat the Cat and Love, Splat , returns with a special request for Santa Claus. But when his younger sister expresses doubt that he's been good enough, he overcompensates: he washes the dishes (they weren't even dirty), adds extra decorations to the tree and, to be safe, waits up for Santa to assure him of his good behavior. Splat's frazzled black fur and bulging eyeballs—contrasting with a cool palette of greens and grays—seem to lift off the page, affirming his larger-than-life appeal. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)