cover image The Year Without a Santa Claus

The Year Without a Santa Claus

Phyllis McGinley, illus. by John Manders, Marshall Cavendish, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7614-5799-2

McGinley's 1956 Christmas story gets a refresh with gouache illustrations by Manders that suggest cartoons of the era. When Santa decides he's due for his "first vacation in a thousand years," a boy named Ignatius Thistlewhite convinces the bereft children of the world to give gifts to Santa. Though the verse shows its age in spots (a "boy from Siam" sends a Siamese kitten), it's a zippy read-aloud, and Manders handily conjures a time when a shiny red bike under the tree is the best thing a boy could ask for. Ages 6–9. (Oct.)