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That's Good! That's Bad!

On Santa's Journey

Henry Holt/Macmillan
Ill. by Michael Garland

That's Good! That's Bad! On Santa's Journey

While driving presents on Christmas Eve, accident-prone Santa has a series of mishaps, with both good and bad results.


Like the first three titles in this series, this holiday version features nonstop action as Santa goes from one comic mishap to another. Although the formula no longer feels fresh, kids will enjoy chanting “Oh, that’s good! No, that’s bad!” The real strength of this book is the expressive, humorous illustrations with their dynamic composition and perspective. They capture the excitement of Christmas and should carry well at storytime. – School Library Journal

Cuyler continues her That’s Good! That’s Bad! series with this Christmas-themed offering focusing on Santa’s travel tribulations and delivery difficulties. On each double-spread, one more step of the Christmas toy-delivery process takes place with a seemingly positive effect or, alternatively, Santa suffers some minor mishap such as getting stuck in a chimney. After each plot point, the repeated refrain of the title (or its reverse form) makes readers see the problems might turn out in a positive way and reasonable-seeming activities can backfire with alarming surprise twists. Garland’s digitally produced illustrations in deep, saturated colors are full of slapstick humor and antics from the bulgy-eyed Santa, complementing the bouncy text full of sound-effect words that beg to be read with melodramatic expression. A good way to get kids to see the silver lining. – Kirkus Reviews

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