Santa's Midlife Christmas

Even SANTA had a hard year! (Battle of Generations Book 2)

Children - Mythology/Fairy Tale
45 Pages
Reviewed on 11/13/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

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.

K.C. Finn

Santa's Midlife Christmas: Even SANTA had a hard year! is a work of fiction in the humor, holiday, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Hailee Oman and illustrated by artist Gusty Awan. Written as the first book in the Battle of Generations series of fun reads for young people, this work will suit independent readers in need of a Christmas giggle, as well as their older relatives who can relate to Santa’s struggles. As the big man is forced to modernize for the changing world out there, we see him go through difficult and amusing adjustments from costuming to new technology, all with some truly rib-tickling results.

Author Hailee Oman delivers a cracker of a Christmas book that will be sure to keep the whole family laughing through the holidays this year. One of the things which is really special about the work is its ability to capture the real spirit of Christmas whilst still delivering such dry, witty prose and modern social commentary. In terms of illustrative quality, artist Gusty Awan presents a unique art style that is suitable for kids and adults alike due to its attention to detail and highly expressive comedic faces. Santa trying to put on the pleather pants will stay with me for a long time to come! The ideas and images marry together perfectly to deliver a book that will surely become an instant family favorite for this time of year, and overall I would highly recommend Santa's Midlife Christmas to all families who love a good laugh together.

Asher Syed

Santa's Midlife Christmas by Hailee Oman, with illustrations by Gustyawan, is book two in the Battle of Generations parent and children's series, preceded by Melvin the Millennial Won't Leave the Nest! The story begins with Santa Claus answering the door to a parcel delivery with new, modern clothing and a letter of intent to retire by his famous reindeer. Santa's traditions are swiftly replaced in a PR retrofit by a panel of Christmas executives. Change is difficult for Santa, who cannot fit into his new apparel, his new reindeer are phone fanatics, his sleigh has been modified to electric, and a transition to free two-day delivery is implemented over the usual chimney drop. Ultimately, Santa compromises in a way that blends new and old and embraces the change.

Santa's Midlife Crisis by Hailee Oman is a clever look at the generational divide and the contemporary harnessing of a world made much smaller in the age of progressive technology. The balance of how things have always been against the trajectory of what's to come is a conversation that is really a lot of fun to have with Santa. The star of this book is the illustrations by Gustyawan that enliven every page with colorful imagery and excellent artwork. My youngest reader and I shared a particular fondness for the elderly reindeer who, frankly, has aged rather well for having been employed in the business of gift delivery since 1823. Overall, this is a fun revamping of the traditional festive legend that is sure to please parents and children alike.