Little Santa

Yoko Maruyama. Minedition (IPG, dist.), $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-988-8341-46-7
Santa’s son laments spending Christmas Eve alone while his father is away delivering presents in this moody holiday story from newcomer Maruyama. Early on, she shows the shaggy-haired boy sitting alone at the dining room table; the image, which resembles a very lonely holiday photo, is labeled, “Me last year.” (Mrs. Claus isn’t around in Maruyama’s story.) When Santa, whose face is concealed throughout, falls and hurts his ankle, the boy delivers gifts in his place. His journey includes a meaningful stop at a “small, shabby house” where a young dancer named Sara only asks for snow. Maruyama’s shadowy illustrations are as enigmatic as the story’s message. “Some gifts wear out after a year or two, but the gift Sara has is limitless,” Santa tells his son, perhaps referring to her understanding that material possessions aren’t as important as one’s dreams. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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