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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Santa's Midlife Christmas is a children’s holiday-themed picture book written by Hailee Oman and illustrated by Gustyawan. What a difference a year makes! Santa thought he was getting the jump on being ready for Christmas by starting mid-year, but he never dreamed that everything would be changed -- and not for the better, it seemed. First, he received a big box from the Christmas Executive Team sent by messenger and adorned in non-traditional wrapping, but what was inside was even more upsetting. He found, tucked in the box, an announcement from his reindeer. They were retired! He would have to work with the young bucks designated to be his new team. Young bucks? And there was the matter of the new Santa Claus clothing they sent him. His new pants were tiny, tight, and made of pleather -- and snakeskin boots? Santa’s day just kept on getting worse and worse.
Hailee Oman’s Santa's Midlife Christmas is a sprightly and funny look at a traditional Santa Claus faced with a world forever changed. How does he cope with it? It’s a riot watching him squeeze his generous posterior into the tiny pleather pants, and seeing his dismay at the prospect of the young bucks replacing Rudolph and his other reindeer is hilarious. I’m certain kids who’ve been wondering how Santa would be dealing with his annual task, in light of the pandemic, will get a kick out of this clever and well-penned tribute to Santa, his ability to adapt, and his solution to a transformed and new world. Gustyawan’s comical illustrations work so very well with the story, and they had me laughing as I read Oman’s verses and perused the drawings accompanying them. Santa's Midlife Christmas: Battle of Generations, Book 2 is highly recommended.