CHIMNEY HAZARD! Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin
SNOW IS FALLING.
A FEW CREATURES ARE STIRRING.
IT'S CHRISTMAS EVE.
And there's a portentious jingle in the air over at the old Brown place. Farmer Brown is hanging stockings--labeled SHEEP, one COWS, PIGS, CHICKENS, and even one for MICE. The halls are decked and the mice are pleased as they peep from their holes, miming a shhhhhhhh! to Mr. Brown.
Duck, disguised as a lineman for the county, is high atop a utility pole, tool belt and all, watching for a certain airborne visitor, and at the sounding of jingling bells, he shoots down a zipline to Farmer Brown's snow-topped chimney. Donning his handy night vision goggles, he surveys the sky and spots a sleigh approaching in the distance.
HO! HO! HO!
Duck ducks down the chimney, taking the the short route to alert Farmer Brown. But...
Duck is STUCK!
This is embarrassing! Santa's sleigh and reindeer are silhouetted against the full moon, and the watching farm animals roll into action.
THE COWS COME UP TO UNSTICK DUCK.
HO! HO! HO!
This is an emergency! The pigs give it a try, but they lodge in the chimney. The chickens, goats, cat, dog, and mice come to help, but they all wind up stuck in the now over-stuffed smokestack!
This is a job for a professional! Santa Claus never gets stuck in chimneys, and in clouds of soot, Duck and his pals pop out of Farmer Brown's chimney just ahead of St. Nick, in Doreen Cronin's jolly tale of Farmer Brown's chimney, Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! (Atheneum Books, 2015). Betsy Lewin's classic comic farm animals are a holiday gift in themselves, Duck in Santa hat and night-sight glasses, with similarly attired keyboarding chickens following suit, are just silly enough to have young readers in stitches, and Farmer Brown, relaxing in his long, red, fur-trimmed dressing gown throwing up the window sash to see Santa's approach, provides just the right touch of merry measure for pre-Christmas Eve reading.
"Cronin and Lewin make this slapstick story all their own, leaving readers... with a big dose of holiday cheer," says School Library Journal.