________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 13 . . . . February 28, 2003

cover

Here Comes Santa Claus.

Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman. Illustrations by Bruce Whatley.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins, 1947/2002.
24 pp., cloth, $25.99.
ISBN 0-06-028268-1.

Subject Headings:
Christmas music-Texts.
Christmas songs-Texts.

Preschool-grade 1 /Ages 2-6.

Review by Lorraine Douglas.

**** /4

excerpt:

Here comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus!
Right down Santa Claus Lane!
He’s got a bag that is filled with toys
For the boys and girls again.


Gene Autry, the singing cowboy of the 1930’s, ‘40’s and ‘50’s, wrote or co-wrote over 200 songs. With Oakley Haldeman, he wrote “Here Comes Santa Claus” in 1947, and it became one of the most popular holiday songs of the century.

internal art

     The lyrics and score are reproduced on both sets of endpapers, and the words are placed in a narrative story format on each page. Australian artist Bruce Whatley beautifully interprets the text of the song in large full colour paintings. In these paintings, an old-fashioned and very appealing Mr. Claus sets off from the North Pole and is on his way to Matthew’s house with a stowaway dog in his sleigh. Matthew longs for a dog, and on Christmas morning he is delighted to find a lovely white puppy under the tree. Whatley captures the magic and joy of Christmas in his paintings. Like his best-selling Night Before Christmas (HarperCollins, 1999), Whatley has taken a classic and reinvigorated it in stunning contemporary illustrations which tell their own story. Here we see a modern family and images of interracial elves and carolers. Whatley uses strong contrasting colours, repeating patterns and realistic drawings to evoke the song’s theme of hopefulness.

     Children will love listening to this book (whether you sing or read it) in the days leading up to the holiday and will enjoy looking at the richly detailed art and images.

Highly Recommended.

Lorraine Douglas is the Youth Services Coordinator at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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