Santa Retires

( 1 )

Overview

After an exhausting Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus head for sunny Mistletoe Island, where they surf, golf, and learn the hula. They even start eating healthy. (No more cookies and milk!) Vacation is so much fun that Santa decides to retire, much to the reindeer and elves’ dismay. Can there be a Christmas without Santa—and can Santa be jolly without Christmas?
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Overview

After an exhausting Christmas, Santa and Mrs. Claus head for sunny Mistletoe Island, where they surf, golf, and learn the hula. They even start eating healthy. (No more cookies and milk!) Vacation is so much fun that Santa decides to retire, much to the reindeer and elves’ dismay. Can there be a Christmas without Santa—and can Santa be jolly without Christmas?
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Mr. and Mrs. Claus retire to Mistletoe Island, leaving the elves in charge at the North Pole, but they find that a life of leisure in a warm climate is not for them. At first, they enjoy their new activities: walks on the beach, hula lessons and surfing. The reindeer arrive on the island for a visit, but they sadly return to the North Pole when Santa announces his permanent retirement. Before long, the quiet catches up with Santa, who misses his old routine, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus return to their old home. They soothe the upset reindeer, restore order to the toy workshop and decide that an annual vacation to Mistletoe Island will be enough to keep Santa in a jolly mood year-round. Computer-generated illustrations provide amusing images of Santa in his new athletic activities, and the reindeer are a comical cast of sidekicks. A tiny mouse character in a Santa hat can be spotted on every spread, along with a red crab he befriends on the island, creating a miniature secondary story as the two little creatures interact. The theme of Santa being tired of his job is a common one, and one more likely to be understood by adult readers than by the intended audience. Mildly amusing, but not a Santa story that children will ask for again and again. (Picture book. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly
Santa is jolly when he’s making toys. Not so much when he’s delivering them: “Forget it. Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller.” Burned out, he and Mrs. Claus head to tropical Mistletoe Island, where they begin eating healthfully and exercising. When the reindeer visit, they learn that Santa has decided to retire, and they gloomily return to the North Pole to take over—with disastrous results. Kids should get a kick out of the many fish-out-of-water scenarios Biedrzycki (Santa’s New Jet) provides as Santa tries out the diving board, tennis, and dance lessons in a grass skirt. His flashy digital art—with dazzling colors, amusing exaggeration, and silly extras—keeps things hopping. Ages 4–7. (July)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Santa's retirement is introduced on the jacket, where he and Mrs. Claus lead a smiling Conga line of reindeer clad in brightly colored shirts across a beach. Santa begins the story relating how, although he still enjoys making toys, delivering them is getting more and more difficult. So after Christmas, he and Mrs. Claus take off for a break on tropical Mistletoe Island. They enjoy the pool, play tennis, try yoga and dance lessons. They even contemplate making their new home there. But when the reindeer arrive ready to party, they are not pleased with that idea. After they leave, Santa is no longer happy. The news from the North Pole is not good either, so he and Mrs. Claus fly back. They manage to fix everything in time for Christmas, but promise to take a vacation every year. Photoshop creates exaggerated comic characters, including an anthropomorphic mouse that joins uninvited in most of the antics. Even the line at the airport is designed for fun. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A work-weary Santa says, "Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller. And you never know what the weather will throw at you." So he and Mrs. Claus leave the elves in charge and take off for Mistletoe Island. Resort life is good to them (Santa taking dance lessons in a hula skirt will get readers laughing every time), and gets even better when the reindeer show up and join the fun, until Santa announces his retirement at dinner. The digital illustrations exuberantly serve up the comedic elements, from the exaggerated reindeer weeping to the changes in Santa's demeanor. Of course, there's a satisfying solution to the situation. The message that even those passionate about their work need the occasional break to recharge will make it easy to share the book beyond the holiday season for a career- or vacation-themed program.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580892933
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,399,246
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

David Biedrzycki has been creating illustrations for book publishers, advertising agencies, magazines, and design firms since 1980. His art has graced the cover of KidSoft Magazine, New England Aquarium billboards and children's software packaging, such as "The Amazon Trail" and "Odell Down Under." He is the author/illustrator of the ACE LACEWING: BUG DETECTIVE series as well as ME AND MY DRAGON and ME AND MY DRAGON: SCARED OF HALLOWEEN. He also illustrated THE BEETLE ALPHABET BOOK and DORY STORY. David lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 8, 2013

    I would have bought Santa Retires based on the cover.  In fact,

    I would have bought Santa Retires based on the cover.  In fact, I kind of did.  The story is adorable, and understandable.  It's not really a stretch to think that Santa would want to retire:  He spends an entire year building toys, and then has to zip around the world in one night to deliver them.  It must be exhausting.  And such a thankless job, really. Poor Santa.  He needs a break, and David Biedrzycki gives him one.
    There is something very special about David Biedrzycki's artwork.  There is a dash of reality mixed in with loads of humor.  There are small touches that make each illustrated page a delight.  The "weather" page is hilarious.  I love how pretty and glamorous Mrs. Claus is.  She's is proof that you don't have look frumpy to look Christmas-y -- not one novelty sweater in sight.  My little boy likes the artwork because the slimmed-down Santa bears a strong resemblance to his Grandpap.  And you don't want to overlook the crab or the mouse.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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