cover image Santa Is Coming to New York

Santa Is Coming to New York

Steve Smallman, illus. by Robert Dunn. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4022-7503-6

Whiteout conditions make navigation difficult for Santa on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the sleigh isn’t the only thing that feels off-course in this overstuffed yet underwhelming picture book, part of a series of customized titles spotlighting North American cities and regions. In a holding pattern over Manhattan, “the youngest reindeer” tugs the team of six (not eight) toward the “ding-dong” of bells of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and crashes into the Empire State Building before getting on with deliveries. Though Smallman rattles off the names of landmarks in the text, neither the writing nor the illustrations (few of which are actually specific to New York) contain enough detail to make this a treat for either residents or vicarious visitors. Ages 4–up. (Oct.)