The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett, Poly Bernatene |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
The Santa Trap

The Santa Trap

3.6 3
by Jonathan Emmett, Poly Bernatene

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Bradley’s parents always gave him whatever he demanded, not because they thought he deserved it, but because they were terrified of him.” Bradley Bartleby was “born bad,” and as a result, he gets socks from Santa every Christmas. Fed up, he spends an entire year turning his parents’ mansion into a diabolical trap for the jolly old elf, one that involves dynamite, guillotines, and tigers (an especially grim scene shows Bradley grinning as he holds the disembodied head of a Santa dummy). Bernatene’s cinematic mixed-media illustrations work wicked magic with Emmett’s darkly comedic prose, as Bradley’s plans backfire explosively. An ideal Christmas present for children who prefer Halloween. Ages 6�10. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Mean Bradley Bartleby scowls at us from a large chair on the cover. He was "born bad," and has grown progressively "badder." His immensely rich parents always give him whatever he demands because they are terrified of him. Every Christmas Bradley sends a long request list to Santa Claus. Knowing how bad Bradley is, kind-hearted Santa still always leaves him a present, the same every year, a pair of socks. This year, fed up, Bradley decides to build a trap for Santa and get all the presents he is carrying. All year Bradley works at the trap, from setting dynamite in their other chimney and fitting doors and window with guillotines to putting trap doors in the floors. On Christmas Eve, while waiting, he falls asleep. What happens when he wakes up makes for an amusing but fair ending. The visual tale is told with nasty, naturalistic scenes filled with appropriate details aimed at ultimate destruction. Bradley is so mean that his gestures scare even the other cartoon-y characters. Bernatene fully exploits digital mixed media to create this noire-ish cinema-like storyboard. On the back jacket is the warning: Contains no peace and no goodwill. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2�4—A beastly boy gets his comeuppance, partially due to his own efforts, and partially thanks to that wily old elf, Santa Claus. Bradley Bartleby starts out bad (at birth, he stole the doctor's stethoscope), and gets worse as he gets older. His wealthy, overindulgent, and frankly terrified parents give in to his every whim, but Santa thwarts him every Christmas with a token pair of socks. Bradley plots hideous revenge, but Santa (unseen except in Bradley's imagination through the entire book) gets the last word with his well-considered holiday gift. Bernatene's digital mixed-media illustrations are a perfectly creepy fit to this unusual holiday tale. There's no telling whether or not Santa's intervention will change Bradley's evil ways, and some might find this budding fiend more than a little disturbing, but fans of the Addams Family and Emily the Strange shenanigans might appreciate the dark humor.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A beady-eyed brat sits in a red, thronelike chair, glaring out of the cover in this hilarious, bizarre holiday story. What's that machinery behind him, and what is that kid up to? That's Bradley Bartleby on the throne, and he's bad, bad to the bone. He terrifies his "immensely rich" parents, mistreats his pet elephant and demands a huge list of presents every Christmas. But Santa brings him just one gift each year, a pair of socks. So the outraged Bradley builds a Santa trap in the chimney, planting dynamite at the bottom. He extends his trap to all the chimneys and adds tigers, guillotines and trapdoors. His parents decamp to a hotel, leaving Bradley alone on Christmas Eve, when he inadvertently falls into his own trap. But he is not forgotten by Santa, who still leaves him a pair of socks, along with a box of bandages and some antiseptic, in a slam-dunk conclusion that finds Bradley inside his own metal cage. The cleverly constructed plot unfolds with perfect comedic timing and dry wit, complemented by digitally produced mixed-media illustrations that have a suitably sinister, magnetic charm. Bernatene's artwork uses dark colors, shadows and cinematic perspectives to bring Bradley's world into believable focus. Now, some will find these devilishly delinquent developments positively beyond the bounds of good taste. But many others will say, "Naughty. But nice." (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.40(d)
AD850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

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