Santa’s Story – Picture Book Review

By Will Hillenbrand
Published on: September 10, 2019

A stunningly illustrated picture book story about what happens when Santa forgets to read everyone’s favorite Christmas story. After all, there are certain Christmas Eve traditions that absolutely must be kept and all the reindeer know it.


Santa is ready to leave on Christmas Eve, but he can’t find the reindeer anywhere. Dasher is busy dashing, Donner is dozing, and Cupid is crooning. It isn’t until Santa remembers their annual tradition—reading a Christmas story together—that the reindeer are ready.

Reindeer merriment abounds in this charming yuletide tale about honoring the celebration of holiday customs with those you love.


Simply put, the illustrations in this picture book are fantastic. The story takes place on Christmas eve at dusk and to help set the mood the overall color tone is more muted, except for specific uses of bright colors. Shading and shadows are used abundantly to help draw depth to the hills of the North Pole as well as assist in extenuating the beauty of the snow and trees.

The story begins with Santa being ready to go delivery toys, except the reindeer are all doing their own thing and aren’t coming when he calls. Action words fill the pages as we see descriptions of what each reindeer is doing, such as Prancer ‘prancing’ or Vixen being ‘vexed.’ However, the main story and reason they are not coming is because Santa has forgotten one important thing – to read their favorite Christmas book before heading out. While the illustrations are wonderful, the story falls a little flat for me as there isn’t too much to the story and I wondered where it was leading to until we get to the end. However, even at the end I didn’t feel enough of an emotional payoff as I would have liked to have had.

Santa’s Story is perfect for those who love The Night Before Christmas, beautiful picture book illustrations, and reminiscing about beloved Christmas traditions.

Rating: 3.75 stars

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