Friday, December 4, 2015

PPBF: Santa Claus, #1 Toy Expert

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

Santa Claus,
The World's Number One Toy Expert,

text and art by Marla Frazee
Santa Claus, The World's Number One Toy Expert
Written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
Scholastic, 2005
Ages 4-7

Christmas, Humor

"No one knows more about kids than Santa Claus. He is the number one kid expert."

Santa knows kids. Santa knows toys. Santa knows wrapping, and planning, and playing. He loves his job. Santa Claus, The World's Number One Toy Expert gives a humorous peek into Santa's world. But there are no elves or gingerbread villages here. This book is a light-hearted look at a hard-working guy who knows when to take a break. It follows Santa through the process of choosing the perfect gift for each child. Then there's just one more important gift to discover. This isn't a typical three-act picture book. Nor will you find an insurmountable problem. After all, Santa tackles this problem every year!

What I Love:
Well, Marla Frazee! But there's more. I love Marla's fresh imagining of Santa Claus. I love the subtle message of play in your work and sacrifice for others' happiness. To me, that captures much of the gift-giving part of the holiday. Page after page of lively, lovely art will make this a traditional read in your home. My favorite touches include the thoroughly diverse children, the illustration of Santa reading to his stuffed animals, the child who wasn't quite happy with his gift . . . yet, and the wrapping paper endpapers. Why not slip a copy of this charming picture book into someone's stocking this year?

Find these toy-themed cookies and more
courtesy The Adventures of Sweet Sugarbelle
1. For a Toyland Christmas, try the Playmobil advent calendar.
2. Rather make your own advent? Wrap picture books and read one a day like these from Striped Armchair, or get creative and stack books as a Christmas tree, like the one from My Little Bookcase.
3. Build Santa's village with the annual Lego winter sets. Include a toy workshop like the one in the book.
4. Check out these amazing toy themed cookies by Sweet Sugarbelle. She even gives you directions to make your own, if you are adventurous. Wouldn't Santa eat these up on Christmas eve?
5. Visit a local toy museum like The Strong, National Museum of Play, The Marx Toy Museum, or The Classic Toy Museum in California.
6. Learn the history and evolution of Santa Claus on The History Channel.
7. Check out these and more Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Penny
Reviewed by Joanne and Beth

Reviewed by Julie
Reviewed by Laura

Reviewed by Joanne
Reviewed by Erik

Have you reviewed a Perfect Picture Book along this theme? Please leave the link in the comments below. Thanks!

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for December 4, 2015 available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. Between the synopsis and your telling of what you love, I'm definitely checking out this book. I could never resist a good Christmas book, and this one sounds like one I'm going to want to share.

    1. Thanks. I hope it lives up to your expectations! What's afavorite Christmas pb of yours?

  2. I had somehow missed this holiday book. Glad to see it's been reprinted in paperback that makes it more affordable. (and maybe would fit in a stocking!)

    1. Actually, everything fits in my stocking. My mom made us giant-sized stockings when we were kids. My poor husband can never seem to fill it. Thanks.

  3. What a gem! I can't believe I've never seen this book before now. Going to purchase it!

    1. I really hope you like it. I love Marla's depictions of shelves and shelves of toys. Her Santa is full of energy and personality. It always makes me smile. Thanks for your enthusiasm.


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