Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Santa’s Secret

Santa's Secret by Mike Dumbleton, illustrated by Tom Jellett (Random House Australia)
HB RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781742752396
Also available as an ebook
ISBN 9781742748801
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Here’s another rollicking, rhyming picture book to romp us towards Christmas.

Santa is zonked out after his exhausting Christmas Eve round-the-world trip. After a refreshing sleep, he’s ready to holiday … Aussie style!

Out goes the Santa speak of ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ and in comes ‘G’day’, ‘Fair go!’ as Santa lands at a beach shack where he secretes his reindeer and unpacks a surfboard from his sleigh.

Illustrator, Tom Jellett, dresses Santa in a tropical pineapple-patterned shirt and thongs before he dons a squeezy wetsuit (red of course!) and hits the waves. He bedazzles the grommets with his surfing skills: ‘He’s in the zone! He’s in a class all of his own!’

The lovely twist at the end reveals the Christmas spirit of giving in a fun way, without being preachy: ‘So, watch out after Christmas Day, for the greatest surfer in the bay.’

Santa’s Secret is a jolly read aloud book for three to five year olds. Children will love the clear and colourful illustrations that depict, not only Santa’s changing expressions, but also the humour of such a bizarre situation. Keep your eye out for the tyre swans, kettle barbecue and wind chimes at Santa’s beach shack.

Seven of Mike Dumbleton’s picture books have been selected as ‘Notable Books’ by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. He is also a multi-award winner for his titles. Illustrator Tom Jellett has illustrated a number of best-selling books for children; he combines this with his work as editorial illustrator for the various papers of News Limited.

A fine and quirky team!

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