I have debated on saving today’s book in our picture book countdown for December 26th, but then I realized that I will be ready for a break from posting daily by then and this book is too good to chance forgetting to post about. Why wait until December 26th? Well, today’s lovely uncoated paper, graphic beauty is a story about what happens after Christmas when all the chaos and planning and hubbub is over for Santa and his North Pole team. Take a look at the plight of the big, not-always-so-jolly guy in Sad Santa by Tad Carpenter, 2012.
Most people think December 26th is a beautiful day to relish your gifts, eat more goodies and celebrate the days off before the New Year. For Santa though, it is a sad, sad day. The poor guy has no mission for another 364 days and he feels lost. He tries to be merry, but nothing is as wonderful as leading up to the holiday. The elves and animals try to cheer him up, but nothing works. Mrs. Claus finally proposes a vacation to rest up for the next year reminding him that Christmas will be terrible with a sad Santa. Off to the beach they go and he tries hard to relax, but really he just misses his workshop and home.
Finally, a little Christmas magic comes his way and reminds him how important he is for holiday cheer. He gets his pep back and is reminded a most important lesson, “The spirit of the season is about giving, caring, and living as if it were Christmas every single day of the year.”
And that is the reason I think this book is so important to read especially in this holiday season. We all need a little reminder what is truly important amidst the crazy everything leading up to Christmas. Even the good stuff and the fun events can become so much it is easy to forget the caring, giving and loving that is needed all the time.
On top of a great message, the illustrations in this book are just awesome. Carpenter’s flat, graphic style is stunning in its limited palette with excellent cheeky characters. And the paper! What a great choice and so unique for picture books. You can tell this is a graphic designer through the illustrations and especially the great typography. Hooray for a lovely, full package of a picture book. Tad Carpenter is a skilled designer and someone to watch for with everything he puts out. Sad Santa will be sure to make sure you aren’t sad this holiday season!
Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas Books 2014!