The Year Without a Santa Claus

The Year Without a Santa Claus

by Phyllis McGinley, John Manders

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Santa takes his first vacation in 1, years.


Santa takes his first vacation in 1, years.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
McGinley's 1956 Christmas story gets a refresh with gouache illustrations by Manders that suggest cartoons of the era. When Santa decides he's due for his "first vacation in a thousand years," a boy named Ignatius Thistlewhite convinces the bereft children of the world to give gifts to Santa. Though the verse shows its age in spots (a "boy from Siam" sends a Siamese kitten), it's a zippy read-aloud, and Manders handily conjures a time when a shiny red bike under the tree is the best thing a boy could ask for. Ages 6–9. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Oliver
McGinley's classic poem gets a reprint with the addition of Manders' new illustrations with excellent results. With minor changes in spelling and punctuation to enhance readability, the poem, originally written in 1956, still provides excellent entertainment value. A too tired Santa decides to take a year off. After all, everyone else gets time off at the holidays and Santa decides, "it's time I got my first vacation in a thousand years." He notifies the elves that there will be no toy deliveries and when the news makes the papers children all over the world burst into tears. All except Ignatius Thistlewhite who happens to agree that Santa deserves a holiday. Ignatius organizes children from all over the world to send presents to the North Pole for Santa. Santa is overjoyed at receiving the gifts, but realizes the only way he can make room for all the gifts is to deliver the presents taking up room on the workshop shelves so he takes to his sleigh for his usual Christmas Eve deliveries. As always, Manders' gouache illustrations hit the spot perfectly. With particular attention to the faces and the placement of eyebrows, Manders provides readers with extremely expressive characters. The illustrations are actually strong enough to tell the story without the text. Together, this is an impressive pairing and one that should be in all holiday collections. Reviewer: Sharon Oliver
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This new version of McGinley's poem, originally published in 1957, is illustrated with gouache and pencil cartoon artwork that highlights the humor in the text. Santa decides to take a vacation, his first in a thousand years. When the children of the world get the news, most give way to tears. Not Ignatius Thistlewhite, however. He organizes a movement to send gifts to Santa, who is so moved by this response that he gives up his plans and gets back on the sleigh. While the story is a tad long for most storytimes, it nonetheless begs to be shared aloud.—Virginia Walter, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
Kirkus Reviews

McGinley's 1956 text returns with a huge trim and new, robust illustrations. When an exhausted Santa can't face yet another Christmas Eve, he announces that he'll take that year off. Appalled but sympathetic, children from around the world deliver presents and letters to Santa to show their appreciation for his past service, and by Christmas Eve Santa has had a change of heart. The rollicking, rhyming text is on the long side but good fun, with some delightful tongue-twisters and felicitous rhyming pairs. The cartoony illustrations have a '50s comic-book feel, and Santa himself has a rough-around-the-edges (sometimes just rough) look. For today's kids used to countless twists on the St. Nick shtick, this nostalgia trip may be a bit ho-ho-hum, but read aloud with enough energy it may hit the spot. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.80(h) x 0.50(d)
AD810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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