CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen


The beloved, multi-award-winning duo of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen tackle a perennial question.

When Santa arrives at a child’s house on Christmas Eve, does he go down the chimney feetfirst or headfirst? What if he gets stuck? What if there’s no chimney? Maybe he slides under the door, as thin as a piece of paper? Or is it possible he pours himself through the faucet? What happens once he’s inside? Whether it’s shape-shifting or impromptu laundry use, Mac Barnett’s iconic talent for earnest deadpan humor and Jon Klassen’s irresistibly funny art honor the timeless question with answers both ridiculous and plausible, mounting in hilarity as the night continues. Channeling a child’s fanciful explanations (and begging for further speculation), this latest collaboration by a New York Times best-selling team will find a secure spot among family holiday traditions.


Trust Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen to ask a question that's undoubtedly been around as long as belief in Santa Claus. Just how does Santa make it down a chimney? By proposing several different, and often amusing, theories, the dynamic duo of Barnett & Klassen encourage children to use their creativity to come up with their own ideas. Asking all sorts of questions the narrative mulls over a bunch of ideas about how Santa does what he does. Combined with Klassen's graphite and ink illustrations (finished digitally), Barnett's narrator expresses an entertaining bunch of ideas, everything from Santa flattening himself and sliding under the door if no chimney exists to whether or not Santa might wear night-vision goggles. The ideas are creative and some are laugh-out-loud funny such as Santa going down the chimney behind first (clothes are pulled such that a crack is visible which is a bit startling). In the end though, does it really matter how Santa does what he does? According to the narrator, the most important thing is that he gets it done. I love the way the illustrations and text work seamlessly together to present a humorous yet creativity inspiring brainstorming session. It reads like someone mulling things over in their mind. A fun read that will undoubtedly inspire a wide-variety of other ideas about Santa and his abilities.


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