cover image CHRISTMAS EVE


Liz Rosenberg, , illus. by John Clapp. . Roaring Brook/Porter, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-7613-1627-5

Even through icy wind and blinding snow, Santa's special kid-tracking system is in perfect working order as proven in this reassuring picture book. A family traveling on Christmas Eve must take refuge at a motel during a fierce winter storm, and their younger son worries that Santa Claus will never find them. What happens during the night is every child's Christmas fantasy: the boy meets Santa face-to-face. Rosenberg's (Monster Mama) verse builds up a gentle suspense and Clapp's (Shining) realistic watercolors neatly balance the fantastic and lifelike elements of the story. His contrast of a crisply rendered contemporary family with a velvety, flurry-filled night sky and solid Santa makes the events seem all the more possible. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)