The Night Before Christmas, Deep Under the Sea

Kathie Kelleher, illus. by Dan Andreasen. Holiday House, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-2336-1
In this undersea interpretation of Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas staple, a googly-eyed lobster narrates, as a pipe-smoking walrus Santa descends to deliver presents in a conch shell sleigh pulled by seahorses. Kelleher’s (illustrator of Stuck on the Presidents) narrative sometimes pushes the undersea theme a bit too far, as when the lobster awakens aboard a wrecked ship: “Up to the porthole I swam like a shark;/ I tore back the seaweed then peered through the dark./ The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow/ Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below.” A mix of digital and oil painting, Andreasen’s (The Hand-Me-Down Doll) cartoons are unfailingly cheerful, creating a friendly underwater environment. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Genre: Children's
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