Krampus Baby!: A Hazy Dell Flap Book

Hazy Dell Pr. Oct. 2022. 12p. Board. $8.95. ISBN 9781948931366.
Toddler-PreS–Despite including goblins and a witch, this title bears little resemblance to the Germanic origin story in which naughty children are beaten with branches, eaten, or taken to hell by Krampus on the night of December 5. In this book, Krampus plays hide-and-seek as he journeys from the hills above town to the market square. After jumping down the chimney and giggling when discovered in a basket, Krampus is suddenly back on the hillside where Santa’s sleigh picks him up and delivers him to bed. Persico’s (Summer Color!) illustrations are true to the half-demon monster origin of Krampus, giving him a half-goat appearance, red pupils and yellow eyes, chains around his waist, and a devilish tail and horns. The snow-covered Christmas scenery is old-fashioned; the buildings feature gingerbread work on the exterior. The question-and-answer format uses flaps to reveal the answer to a question posed, or to show where someone is hiding. Barks has taken a legend focused on a devilish companion of St. Nicholas, and instead written a story that passes over the beating of naughty children; those who are Krampus aficionados expecting a book true to European folklore will be disappointed with this not-so-scary title.
VERDICT A lighthearted way to introduce Krampus to toddlers. Recommended for collections looking to broaden their Christmas horizons beyond traditional Santa titles.

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