cover image How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?

How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney?

Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2376-7

The frequent collaborators take the simple question of the title and dive right in: “How does he do it? How does it work?” Klassen imagines a pale-skinned Santa on a rooftop making adjustments: he cinches his belt at the waist while a reindeer holds his jacket. More fantastic ideas bubble forth. Perhaps Santa has to “stretch out like taffy and step in one leg at a time”? Maybe the chimney renders Santa’s suit so dirty that he has to do laundry before going to the next house? And how is it that Santa charms all the dogs that would usually bark at strangers? Barnett sustains a wide-eyed, innocent tone throughout, and Klassen’s Santa appears amiable in this smart Yuletide comedy that visualizes everything from Santa sitting in his skivvies in front of a clothes washer to Saint Nick arriving by post. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)