Deer Santa

Hannah Eliot, illus. by Kathryn Selbert. Little Simon, $9.99 (18p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9523-4

An assortment of wide-eyed, anthropomorphic woodland creatures dressed in winter outfits write letters to Santa in this novelty book. Eliot’s arrhythmic, simple rhymes keep the story light: “Can I have some twinkling lights?/ I’m not Rudolph, but I’ll still shine bright!” entreats a brown deer in a red-and-white striped scarf. Punnily addressed envelopes on pull-tab flaps offer greetings corresponding to each animal (“Merry Christmouse!”), while cheerful, vintage-inflected spreads by Selbert depict the animals partaking in various wintry activities: a behatted snake sits under a bedecked Christmas tree cuddling a teddy. A final note from the hopeful collective hints at a greater reason for the season: “But whether we get these gifts, or don’t,/ Christmas spirit is what matters most!” All ages. (Oct.)
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