The Santa Claus Trap! How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan
AFTER WAITING FOR DAYS AND DAYS, IT'S FINALLY CHRISTMAS EVE.
AND THAT'S WHEN YOU TRY TO CATCH SANTA.
All kids dream of more than sugarplums on Christmas Eve. They all harbor the hope of catching a peep at Santa going about his duties under the Christmas tree.
This brother and sister are sure they can come up with a scheme to have a few magical moments with Santa. But they rule out the rough stuff. No deadfall traps or lasso loops dropping on Mr. S. Claus. He's a busy old guy on a tight schedule.
BE CRAFTY! BE CLEVER! BE GENTLE!
But these siblings have a few questions for Santa. What do you do about houses with no chimneys? How do you find kids who are away on trips at Christmas? How do you do what you do in the dark?
Sis and brother have a clever and crafty plan. They write Santa a nice thank-you note and seal it up in an envelope with some bright red glitter. When he opens it up, he'll get a dusting of red sparkles and leave a trail behind him everywhere he goes. Even if they don't catch a glimpse of St Nick, they'll gather a lot of clues about his gift-giving M.O. Leave carrots conveniently placed around, and if they disappear overnight, they'll know Santa's reindeer have been there.
But after the holiday songs are sung, and Mom and Dad have reminisced about their own Christmas Eve tactics and sent everyone off with a "to all a goodnight," here comes the big challenge. The whole idea is to stay awake on Christmas Eve until Santa comes.
SHH! LISTEN FOR SANTA SOUNDS--SLEIGH BELLS, REINDEER WHINNIES, ELF GIGGLES!
But what about that bugaboo, the old Christmas Catch-22?
SANTA WON'T COME UNTIL YOU ARE ASLEEP!
Drat! Foiled again, in Jean Reagan's How to Catch Santa (Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2015), as the kids fall a-snooze listening quietly for Santa sounds. But at least they'll have that trail of red glitter to track on Christmas morning, and along with their new toys, there is circumstantial evidence that Santa did manage to outwit them once more. Author Jean Reagan and artist Lee Wildish, the creators of their hits, How to Babysit a Grandma, How to Babysit a Grandpa, and How to Surprise a Dad (see reviews here), come together again in a funny story about conspiring to spy on Santa. A lively narrative and comic images of kids imagining how to snag Santa make for fun holiday reading and lead to many more "t'was the night before Christmas" stories, beginning with Clement Clark Moore's classic catching-St.-Nicholas tale.
Pair this one with David Bedford's I've Seen Santa! (review here). And for younger scheming siblings, don't overlook Rosemary Wells' always wonderful Max's Christmas (Max and Ruby).