A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World

M.E. Furman, illus. by Susan Gal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-544-22620-3

Furman’s first children’s book takes readers on an appetizing world tour of Christmas traditions, highlighting the treats children leave for Santa and his regional counterparts—jam-filled nastar cookies for Sinterklaas in Indonesia, almond cookies and wine for coal miner Olentzero in the Basque Country, etc. Beginning on Christmas Island in the Pacific, Furman zigzags across the globe, stopping in 32 locales on her way to Hawaii. Though the descriptions of some countries’ rituals are cursory, many offer intriguing details (“In Denmark, Julemande [Christmas Man] puts presents under the tree while the family eats Christmas dinner”). Gal’s digital collages offer kaleidoscopic tableaus for the countries, mixing images of celebrating children, the featured confections, regional Santa figures, decorations, and more. Recipes for nine of the desserts wrap up this cheery book. Ages 4–7. Illustrator’s agency: Morgan Gaynin. (Oct.)