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HERE COMES SANTA CAT by Deborah Underwood


From the Here Comes… series

by Deborah Underwood ; illustrated by Claudia Rueda

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8037-4100-3
Publisher: Dial Books

The egocentric feline protagonist of Here Comes the Easter Cat (2014) returns for another opportunity to receive a present, just as the ending of the previous story predicted.

The format is the same, with gentle questions from an unseen authority figure (quite parental in tone) asking what Cat can possibly be thinking with each new wild idea. The silent but hardly uncommunicative Cat answers with signs, gestures or actions, or sometimes just with one of his many endearing facial expressions. He is dressed like Santa so he can give himself a present, since he doesn’t think he’s been good enough to warrant a gift on his own merits. (That pie chart is pretty damning.) Following suggestions from the narrator, Cat pursues some activities to improve his niceness quotient (caroling, giving fish to children, decorating the community tree), with, er, limited success. Grudgingly, he then shares some food with a kitten. He is rewarded with a present from the real Santa—a green Santa’s Helper suit—as well as a ride in Santa’s sleigh. The illustrations in inks and colored pencils are pleasantly whimsical, and the generous white space, old-fashioned typeface and uncluttered format work just as well in the sequel as in the first volume. Cat seems to have all sorts of schemes up his furry sleeves; perhaps he’ll be angling for birthday presents or a visit from the tooth fairy next?

Quite a charming character, that Cat.

(Picture book. 4-7)