How Murray Saved Christmas

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Overview

When Santa’s knocked out cold by a Jack-in-the-Boxer’s walloping punch, deli owner Murray Kleiner reluctantly agrees to take his place. The suit doesn’t fit, Murray smells a bit like pickles, and there’s no way he can remember the names of all those reindeer. But with the help of a pushy elf and an eager-to-believe young boy, Murray finds out that even though he’s not big enough to fill Santa’s suit, he’s got more than enough heart to get the job done.

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Overview

When Santa’s knocked out cold by a Jack-in-the-Boxer’s walloping punch, deli owner Murray Kleiner reluctantly agrees to take his place. The suit doesn’t fit, Murray smells a bit like pickles, and there’s no way he can remember the names of all those reindeer. But with the help of a pushy elf and an eager-to-believe young boy, Murray finds out that even though he’s not big enough to fill Santa’s suit, he’s got more than enough heart to get the job done.

When Eddie, one of Santa's elves, accidentally knocks him out on Christmas Eve, Eddie finds an unlikely substitute in the owner of Murray K's Holiday Diner.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Parents will howl with laughter reading this book. Unfortunately, their children may not get some of the humor, as the funniest lines in this picture book are pitched at folks who remember the '70s. The irreverent wit will seep through anyway, but the ideal audience is still older than the usual picture book devotees are. As the author is also one of the creators of the TV animated show The Simpsons, the iconoclastic approach to Christmas should come as no surprise. Santa is knocked out by a wayward toy, and one of the elves presses Murray into service as a Santa-substitute. Murray runs the diner where Santa packs in the cheesecake responsible for his bulk. Things do not go smoothly for Murray, and he is ready to quit until he meets a six-year-old boy who really wants to believe in Santa Claus. Once Murray gets a taste of the joy of giving, he goes all out. The kooky humor is never mean-spirited. The zany, colorful illustrations are perfectly wedded to the text. Suffused with colors from a tropical palette, the illustrations are detailed and contain many visual jokes. 2000, Price Stern Sloan, $10.99. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Dr. Judy Rowen
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780843176100
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 months - 8 years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Reiss

Mike Reiss is a former head writer for The Simpsons, a show for which he has won four Emmy awards. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he served as president of The Harvard Lampoon, and currently lives in Los Angeles, California. His other books for children include How Murray Saved Christmas, Santa Claustrophobia, and The Boy Who Looked Like Lincoln, all illustrated by David Catrow.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 19, 2013

    You are going to love, love this book.  It will have you rolling

    You are going to love, love this book.  It will have you rolling with laughter as you share the story of an out-of-commision Santa and his stand-in, Murray Kleiner, a cranky,  Jewish deli owner who steps in to substitute for the real thing. 




    Poor Santa is completely knocked out cold when he investigates a toy handed him.  It is a Jack-in-the-boxer and it delivers quite a punch.  Santa hits the floor with a thud and is unable to function and perform his Christmas Eve duties.  His distraught, worried elf contacts Murray, the deli owner and pleads for his help.  Murray reluctantly agrees to the plan and that's when the fun begins.




     Murray doesn't fit well into Santa's red suit (it's way too big), he smells like a pickle and he cannot even accurately name the reindeer.  He calls then Jumbo, Dumbo and Richard M. Nixon just to give you a sample of the wit and humour you are about to encounter).  The rhyming beat will have you moving along with the storyline and the illustrations are hilarious and perfect in all ways.  The comicality is offbeat and you (the adult) will get a kick out of the book just as much as your child who is being read to.  It is a great twist on "The Night Before Christmas", and even more zany if accents are added to the characters when you read the book aloud.  I particularly loved the ending when testy Murray adds a new dimension to Christmas Eve by giving presents to the naughty boys and girls too, proving his heart is kind and tender and everyone should be included in the magical night of gift giving.  Santa Murray spreads cheer throughout the land on behalf of beloved Santa Claus who we hope will be fit to resume his duties again next year giving Murray the night off.

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  • Posted December 11, 2012

    This was an adorable book! I found myself laughing at some of th

    This was an adorable book! I found myself laughing at some of the lines. 

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    Very Funny Holiday Story

    This book is both creative and irreverent. It is best suited for 3rd grade and above. Page turning laugh out loud funny!

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  • Posted December 12, 2009

    My new favorite Christmas story

    I just read this for the first time today to 5th graders in my library. We were all laughing. It's just so funny...Twas the night before Christmas with a whole new twist, comtemporary humor that gives adults & kids chuckles, and great characters. It's fun to read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun for adults...oh, and kids, too!

    Here's a tall order in our house: Find a book that is beloved by a 5-year-old, an 11-year-old and two parents who will be asked to read it over and over and over again during the holiday season. Solution: "How Murray Saved Christmas." This is one charming and clever book, filled with creative rhyme and extremely humorous but endearing illustrations. We discovered it just this year and asked Santa to bring a copy to our home. Next year, we be sending it to all of our little cousins...and their parents, too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2003

    Almost more fun for adults than kids!

    This book has such wonderful and clever humor! My kids loved it but I think I caught more of the lines '...On Richard M. Nixon' and was literally laughing out loud in the book store. Great fun!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2002

    How Murray Saved this parent from kid book boredom.

    We read a lot to our soon to be 7 yr. old son. We have done this since the beginning. This means reading a lot of children's books and , consequently, a lot of bad children's books. This book is not one of those, however. How Murray saved Christmas is a hoot that I and my son enjoyed immensly. The humor is broad enough for kids with inside stuff for parents. A fun book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2000

    A fun new twist of how the grinch saved christmas!

    I have could not put this book down! I thought that the humor was exciting and a little twisted. Edison Elf was adorable, he accidently developed a jack in the box that went array and punched Santa out. Santa has a note to get Murray at the diner to save Christmas. Edison and Murray set out on an adventure, after much convincing. Do they save Christmas in time? And what do they do to the really, really naughty children? You'll have to read it to find out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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