Accelerated Reader Program Selection
Santa is fed up. Tired of playing nice with author and illustrator James Rice, he decides to give him a piece of his mind. What was wrong, he wonders, with the classic “The Night Before Christmas” tale? Why must he play sailor, firefighter, teacher, and doctor? Where will it end?
Full of frustration rather than his usual good cheer, Santa contests all of the guises that Mr. Rice placed upon him over the years—from wearing a Cajun muskrat suit to donning a Pennsylvania Dutch outfit; from traveling with bears, donkeys, and sea ponies to encountering naughty Irish elves, gators, and gun-toting rednecks. In the end, he reasserts himself as the jolly old Santa that he once was and gets back to business “in the same old-fashioned way/making his annual rounds/with gifts, reindeer, and sleigh.”
According to Mr. Rice, this book was inspired by a dream he had where an old man was chasing him all night. He finally recognized him as Santa in all the outfits the author had concocted for him. Said Mr. Rice, “This is the only book I ever wrote that was inspired by a nightmare!”
About the Author/Illustrator
Author/illustrator James Rice wrote and illustrated sixty books and was the legend behind the Pelican’s Night Before Christmas Series. A kind of Santa himself, his work had a magical quality that captivated all ages with its whimsy and wit. Cajun Night Before Christmas, Mr. Rice’s first book, has more than 750,000 copies in print, and has been nationally recognized as a classic in its genre. The Night Before Christmas books Mr. Rice illustrated have a combined total of 1,552,000 copies in print. James Rice passed away at his home in Hico, Texas, in May 2004.
Written and Illustrated by James Rice
JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Christmas & Advent
32 pp. 8 1/2 x 11
31 color illustrations