Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Review - A Night in Santa's Great Big Bag

A Night in Santa's Great Big Bag
by Kristin Kladstrup
illustrated by Tim Jessell
Date: 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: We Give Books

It's Christmas Eve, and Louis's favorite stuffed animal, Lamb, couldn't be more excited. While Louis is asleep, Lamb tiptoes downstairs and climbs into Santa's great big bag of presents. Inside is a magical world, filled with new friends: other toys waiting to be delivered as gifts. But soon Lamb starts to miss Louis, and he worries he will never make his way back home. Fortunately, Santa is there to save the day, and Louis is just a short sleigh ride away. Tim Jessell's exuberant art and Kristin Kladstrup's lively writing create a Christmastime world that you won't want to leave.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a completely inoffensive, charming picture book for very young children that would make for a lovely read-aloud session on Christmas Eve.  The story is very simple, about a stuffed toy lamb that stows away in Santa's bag.  He meets a variety of toys, and then has to figure out how to get back to his owner, Louis.

The illustrations are really the most magical part of this book.  They all have a warm, twinkly sort of ambiance to them.  The way the illustrator painted the toys, all illuminated with softly glowing light, is quite beautiful.  The whole thing reminds me of lit Christmas trees and crackling fireplaces.

While it's not the most intellectually challenging book, it is cute and sweet and comforting, like a mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter's night.

Quotable moment:

Santa's hand reached into the bag and picked up a dump truck.
"Good-bye!" shouted the truck.
"Good-bye!" shouted the toys.

Santa's hand reached in again and picked up the doll.
"Good-bye!" said the doll.
"Good-bye!" shouted the toys.

Recommended to: families with young children who can't wait for Santa to pay them a visit

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 5/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.83 out of 5


  1. I loved Christmas books as a kid and the artwork in this one looks fantastic!

    1. It is! I think it's worth having a look at just for the illustrations alone.