How Murray Saved Christmas

How Murray Saved Christmas


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A hilarious Christmas story from an Emmy award-winning writer of The Simpsons!

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.

* "Reiss scores a bull's-eye with this hilarious debut. Catrow's puckish watercolors are equal to Reiss's wit and lightning pace." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Finally, a Christmas book that lives up to its title!" --Matthew Groening, creator of The Simpsons

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142501450
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/16/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 980,607
Product dimensions: 10.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile: NP (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 7 Years

About the Author

Mike Reiss is an award-winning television writer, including four Emmys and a Peabody for his work on The Simpsons. Reiss is also the author of several children's books. 

David Catrow is the illustrator of many picture books including Stand Tall, I Wanna Iguana, and We the Kids: the Preamble to the Constitution. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Deborah.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Reiss scores a bullÆs-eye with this hilarious debut. Catrow's puckish watercolors are equal to Reiss's wit and lightning pace. (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
CanadaInker4 More than 1 year ago
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.
Frenchgrey More than 1 year ago
This was an adorable book! I found myself laughing at some of the lines. 
Caim2 More than 1 year ago
This book is both creative and irreverent. It is best suited for 3rd grade and above. Page turning laugh out loud funny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TiaS More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.