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Here Comes Santa Claus

Here Comes Santa Claus

by Gene Autry, Bruce Whatley (Illustrator), Oakley Haldeman

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"Here Comes Santa Claus" was Gene Autry's first holiday recording and an immediate hit. Now artist Bruce Whatley has created a curious North Pole puppy who stows away on Santa's sleigh for an unforgettable Christmas Eve adventure.


"Here Comes Santa Claus" was Gene Autry's first holiday recording and an immediate hit. Now artist Bruce Whatley has created a curious North Pole puppy who stows away on Santa's sleigh for an unforgettable Christmas Eve adventure.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Whatley (Elvis Presley's The First Noel) gussies up the singing cowboy's bouncy classic. Complementing the familiar lyrics, the visual story tells of a boy whose note to Santa explains that he "already asked for a genuine cowboy hat" for Christmas but really wants a puppy. Fortunately, as jolly old Saint Nick heads "right down Santa Claus lane," it appears he has a stowaway who fits the bill. Interesting perspectives include an aerial view looking down on the reindeer-borne sleigh. Music and lyrics are included on the endpapers. Ages 3-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Written in 1947 when Autry heard children repeat the title phrase at a Christmas parade, this song is still popular today. Whatley makes it even more inviting with his realistic, full-color paintings that include an endearing visual subtext that dovetails with the lyrics. As readers follow a family through Christmas Eve, a puppy stows away on Santa's sleigh and ends up as a much-wished-for gift. This story-within-a-story adds another layer of meaning to the words. The score and all of the verses appear on the endpapers. Great for storytimes or for one-on-one sharing.-M. W. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Autry and Haldeman�s old Christmas song becomes a Christmas Eve story in this interpretation illustrated with realistic paintings by Whatley (Lullaby Lullabook, not reviewed, etc.). The inviting cover heralds the title in a banner of shiny gold and shows Santa�s life-sized face along with a white puppy that plays a key role in the story. The puppy stows away in Santa�s sleigh in the opening spread, pops out to surprise Santa in mid-flight, and becomes a longed-for Christmas gift for a little boy named Matthew in the final pages. The illustrations follow Matthew, who looks about four or five, through his Christmas Eve, as Santa arrives, exchanges notes with him, leaves the puppy, and takes off again in his sleigh in a dramatic spread with the viewer observing from a bird�s-eye perspective. The words to the song are presented in short text blocks set off on oversized double-page spreads that are large enough to work well with a sing-along group and the music for the song is included on both endpapers. Though the song lyrics are primarily about Santa, they also include Christian references to prayer, following the light, and giving "thanks to the Lord above, �cause Santa Claus comes tonight." (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.12(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Gene Autry (1907-1998), the legendary singing cowboy of the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, won the hearts of Americans with his golden voice and rugged good looks. He became one of the most popular actors of his day, playing Everyman western heroes in scores of films as well as on radio and television shows.

Autry also wrote, or cowrote, over two hundred songs, including "Back in the Saddle Again," and recorded an impressive string of holiday classics, including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Here Comes Santa Claus," "Frosty the Snowman," and "Here Comes Peter Cottontail." High among his many awards and honors were induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and a town in Oklahoma that was named after him. In later life, he was as successful a businessman and producer as he had been a performer and served as the driving force behind the creation of the Autry Museum of Western Heritage.

Bruce Whatley is one of Australia’s best-loved and most-respected author–illustrators. His most recent books include the enormously successful and award-winning Diary of a Wombat, written by Jackie French, and its companion volume, The Secret World of Wombats, also illustrated by Bruce. The best selling team have also collaborated on Pete the Sheep, and most recently, Josephine Wants to Dance. Two of Bruce’s previous books, The Ugliest Dog in the World and Tails from Grandad’s Attic, were named as Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia in 1993 and 1996 respectively. Looking for Crabs was shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council in 1993 and Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase was named an Honour Book by the Children’s Book Council in 1998. Bruce has illustrated forty books to date, including a number that he has co-written with Rosie Smith. Their latest collaboration was Little White Dogs Can’t Jump.

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