cover image When Santa Came to Stay

When Santa Came to Stay

Billy Sharff, illus. by Eda Kaban. Dial, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-32523-0

After one family leaves extra-delicious cookies out for Santa, he comes back for more on New Year’s Eve—and doesn’t leave. But it’s not only Santa, notes the picture book’s child narrator, portrayed with brown skin. His wife, child, and kitten arrive on Valentine’s Day, his in-laws come on Easter, and pretty soon it’s a daily Christmas blowout. Rhyming, irreverent lines from Sharff take readers blow-by-blow through the ordeal: “Each meal was full of Christmas cheer,/ With treats and sweets to spare—/ With eggnog in our cereal,/ Confetti in our hair!” Polished, high-energy cartooning by Kaban visualizes constant-Christmas chaos across an elf and human cast of varying skin tones. The narrator’s creative solution neatly resolves this extended consideration of the possibility of too much Christmas. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)