cover image The Great Christmas Crisis

The Great Christmas Crisis

Kim Norman, illus. by Jannie Ho. Sterling, $14.95 (26p) ISBN 978-1-4027-8632-7

Santa Claus (or at least author Norman) has been watching Undercover Boss. When things start to go awry at the toy workshop in the weeks before Christmas, Santa disguises himself as an elf to investigate: “I’ll search all about,/ in this cap and goatee,/ for trouble the elves/ might not share when I’m me.” Turns out that “an extra-long ‘nice’ list” and some overdue R&R are to blame: cue the massages, yoga classes, and “ho ho” jokes (the North Pole equivalent of knock-knock jokes). Norman’s verse tips its hat to Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas,” and Ho’s sunny cartoons are further enhanced by embossing and glossy accents. Ages 4–7. (Oct.)