cover image Presents Through the Window

Presents Through the Window

Taro Gomi. Chronicle, $15.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5138-0

First published in Japan in 1983, this delightful holiday tale features die-cut windows through which Santa peers into the houses he visits. But Gomi’s Santa—who tools around in a helicopter and wears a mustache instead of a beard—isn’t paying the closest attention to who lives in each house, and that’s the source of this story’s substantial charm. “A little kitten must live in this house,” Santa proclaims in one scene, but a page turn reveals that the “kitten” is just an image on the nightshirt of a snoozing pig. “A zebra definitely lives here,” declares Santa at the next house, dropping off a striped scarf; too bad those “stripes” are actually the long white necks of three swanlike birds, sleeping side by side against a black wall. Luckily, the seemingly mismatched gifts are a hit with everyone. Gomi’s vibrant, pared-down artwork and the effervescent fun of Santa’s well-intentioned bumbling make for laughs on every page. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)