Monday 13 September 2021

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Ho, Ho, Ho! by Kathy Creamer (Little Pink Dog Books) RRP $24.99                        ISBN 9780648652885 

Reviewed by Claire Stuckey

We meet Santa and the elves busy preparing for Christmas in the first double page spread of this graphic novel picture book. Some of the elves are also busy being cheeky.

Santa in his sleigh travels across the starry sky arriving at a house with no chimney but a snowman guarding the front. Santa enters the door in search of Lily’s room. He sneaks out but Lily is disturbed and rushed out to hug him. Just as they greet each other, a large sharp object enters the frame, and the snowman is toppled over. We then see that the scene is on top of a Christmas cake that is being sliced by a mother surrounded by a family celebrating Christmas. The children then realise that the decoration has disappeared and wave to the Santa sleigh.

This book is presented in frames with minimal text. There are some visual clues to the humour including “Made in China” on the underside of the snowman. The slice of cake is a clever twist and the clothes of the family celebrating indicate the warm Australian climate which contrasts with the snow-covered scene. The cover and endpapers feature shiny silver stars.                                                

My only issue with this innovative story is that Lily’s face in some frames did not meet the same quality as the rest of the illustrations. Overall, this is an intriguing Australian Christmas story that can be enjoyed by families and especially children that are keen on the graphic novel format. Recommended for ages 3 years plus

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