Decked Out for Christmas!

Ethan Long. Appleseed, $9.99 (20p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2305-6

What goes into readying Santa’s sleigh? For mouse elves, the ingredients are what one might expect for trimming a tree: “First, the lights!/ Then, the garland!/ Hang the ornaments./ Candy canes! Yum!” Unexpected elements include snacks, a pair of aviator sunglasses, a map, air freshener (pine-scented, naturally), and fuzzy dice. Finally, Long reveals the “Santa Express,” a rocketlike green machine with turbo power. Santa is a polar bear who blasts out of sight on the final spread. Long builds anticipation in spry illustrations to a sleigh reveal that is worth the wait. The only question is, why doesn’t Santa use GPS? Ages up to 3. (Oct.)