Santa’s New Sleigh

Faber & Faber. Nov. 2021. 32p. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9780571364473.
PreS-Gr 2–Santa’s sleigh is packed, and he’s ready to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. But there’s just one problem—his sleigh won’t start! When the motorized sleigh sputters and the elves can’t find a new part to order, chaos ensues. The elves try increasingly bizarre solutions, from skiing to creating a massive slingshot. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. They panic as they run out of ideas and the evening grows later. Luckily, one smart inventor elf named Lizzie saves the day with an electric sleigh! The elves charge the battery by cycling, and Santa takes off into the night. With rhyming verse and action-packed illustrations, there is definitely humor here. However, the premise feels like a bit of a stretch, and while the elves are portrayed with varying skin tones and physical abilities, sometimes they are overly busy and hard to follow. Furthermore, the electric sleigh is pictured with solar panels, which doesn’t make sense for a vehicle that famously travels during the night.
VERDICT The environmental message seems paramount, but notably absent is any of the magic and wonder typically associated with Christmas. A secondary purchase.

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