Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins – Picture Book Review

By Sue Fliess
Illustrated by Mark Chambers
Published on: September 18, 2018

Mrs. Claus to the rescue! A fun and inventive tale where Mrs. Claus saves Christmas when Santa gets sick one year.


It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…

With lively rhyming text and adorable artwork, this delightful Christmas adventure will get kids into the holiday spirit.


In this rhyming picture book story, the North Pole wakes Christmas Eve morning to find Santa is not up yet. When Mrs. Claus and three elves go try to pry him out of bed (with three horns blasting in his ears and what looks like a clapper), they learn that Santa is sick and is thinking Christmas will have to be cancelled. But Mrs. Claus has a plan…she’ll go instead. She has checked the weather, made a route, got the presents together, and is all set to go. At first it goes pretty smoothly, but then the weather starts to intervene, followed by a fuel leak, and then flies too close to a duck that they have to swerve to avoid, which starts a chain reaction of a few other problems. But, in the end they make it back home with time to spare.

Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins is a fun take on the ‘something goes wrong on Christmas’ theme that has been seen before. It contains lively and festive pictures that kids will enjoy looking at and definitely has the holiday spirit in it. The rhymes are fairly good and I only stumbled with the cadence a couple of times. The illustrations are bright and cheerful and full of lots of color, not just red and green. The only things to note is that Mrs. Claus doesn’t look quite like the way we typically see her and that’s ok. Besides the hair, this time she sports some really cool glasses. But also, Rudolph’s nose was a little different to where I didn’t really recognize who he was at first because of it.

Rating: 4 stars

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