Hey, You’re Not Santa!

Scholastic/Cartwheel. Sept. 2021. 40p. pap. $7.99. ISBN 9781338656190.
PreS-Gr 1–A helpful cow uses hilarious stalling techniques to entertain a boy with rose-tan skin and black hair on Christmas Eve while Santa Claus flies back to the North Pole for more presents. Despite Cow’s best efforts to disguise herself, her identity is revealed through her ability (she provides the missing milk that goes along with Santa’s cookies), her voice (she says moo-moo-moo instead of ho-ho-ho), and her behaviors (she eats the tree). But Santa’s timing and Cow’s honesty keep the magic of Christmas alive for the boy, which is just what Santa requested. Cozy illustrations depict a beautifully decorated tree, stockings by the fireplace, snow-covered rooftops, and glistening front yards.
VERDICT With an offbeat pairing of a bespectacled boy and a well-intentioned cow, this holiday picture book is perfect for read-alouds.

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