David Biedrzycki, author & illustrator
David Biedrzycki has been creating illustrations for book publishers, advertising agencies, magazines, and design firms since 1980. His art has graced the cover of KidSoft magazine, New England Aquarium billboards and children's software packaging, such as "The Amazon Trail" and "Odell Down Under." His clients include Celestial Seasonings®, After the Fall Juices(tm), IBM, and Newsweek.
Read more about David Biedrzycki.
- Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Book Award
School Library Journal
A work-weary Santa says, "Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller. And you never know what the weather will throw at you." So he and Mrs. Claus leave the elves in charge and take off for Mistletoe Island. Resort life is good to them (Santa taking dance lessons in a hula skirt will get readers laughing every time), and gets even better when the reindeer show up and join the fun, until Santa announces his retirement at dinner. The digital illustrations exuberantly serve up the comedic elements, from the exaggerated reindeer weeping to the changes in Santa's demeanor. Of course, there's a satisfying solution to the situation. The message that even those passionate about their work need the occasional break to recharge will make it easy to share the book beyond the holiday season for a career- or vacation-themed program.
Santa is jolly when he’s making toys. Not so much when he’s delivering them: "Forget it. Sacks are getting bigger. Chimneys are getting smaller." Burned out, he and Mrs. Claus head to tropical Mistletoe Island, where they begin eating healthfully and exercising. When the reindeer visit, they learn that Santa has decided to retire, and they gloomily return to the North Pole to take over—with disastrous results. Kids should get a kick out of the many fish-out-of-water scenarios Biedrzycki (Santa’s New Jet) provides as Santa tries out the diving board, tennis, and dance lessons in a grass skirt. His flashy digital art—with dazzling colors, amusing exaggeration, and silly extras—keeps things hopping.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus retire to Mistletoe Island, leaving the elves in charge at the North Pole, but they find that a life of leisure in a warm climate is not for them.
At first, they enjoy their new activities: walks on the beach, hula lessons and surfing. The reindeer arrive on the island for a visit, but they sadly return to the North Pole when Santa announces his permanent retirement. Before long, the quiet catches up with Santa, who misses his old routine, and Mr. and Mrs. Claus return to their old home. They soothe the upset reindeer, restore order to the toy workshop and decide that an annual vacation to Mistletoe Island will be enough to keep Santa in a jolly mood year-round. Computer-generated illustrations provide amusing images of Santa in his new athletic activities, and the reindeer are a comical cast of sidekicks. A tiny mouse character in a Santa hat can be spotted on every spread, along with a red crab he befriends on the island, creating a miniature secondary story as the two little creatures interact. The theme of Santa being tired of his job is a common one, and one more likely to be understood by adult readers than by the intended audience.
Mildly amusing, but not a Santa story that children will ask for again and again.
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Page count: 32
10 x 8