Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, (9781534466494), 2004

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Picture Book

What did you like about the book?  This reissue shows that Christmas dinner for Santa and his family looks a lot like ours.  Mrs. C. is worried when Santa invites his whole family to Christmas dinner along with his old friend Lars.  He assures Mrs. C. that he is sure Lars won’t bring Oscar.  As Santa heads off in his sleigh, the first guest, Aunt Astrid, shows up early to help in the kitchen.  Christmas morning finds the whole extended family arriving from all over the world.  There is  Santa’s brother Boris with his wife and 4 children; Uncle Alfred from Bermuda; cousin James a famous chef; Santa’s sister Sonja, with her husband and four children;  Santa’s sister Olga an opera singer who brings her piano player; and grumpy kleptomaniac cousin Ulla.  Santa arrives home just before Lars shows up with Oscar, a polar bear!  Chaos ensues with cranky children, Ulla swiping candy canes and more, a polar bear on the coach and too many cooks in the kitchen.  Before dinner the adults have a snowball fight and Aunt Olga leads the children in a Christmas pageant.  Dinner is just as chaotic, but soon the day ends and Santa is ready for a long rest.  DePaola’s signature style acrylic illustrations perfectly convey the chaos through comic-style strips and full page spreads.  Word bubble conversations add to the fun and the hectic day.  This is sure to be enjoyed by all.

Anything you didn’t like about it?   No

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a fun holiday story that will be enjoyed by readers.  

Who should buy this book?  Public Libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Picture Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:   1/8/2021        

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