Here Comes Santa Cat – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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Santa Cat CoverTitle: Here Comes Santa Cat

Written by: Deborah Underwood

Illustrated by: Claudia Rueda

Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers, Oct 21st, 2014

Suitable for ages: 3-7

Themes: cats, being nice, Christmas, Santa

Fiction, small format, 80 pages

Opening Lines:

Hey, Santa!                                                                                                                             Have you seen Cat?

1st double-paged spread

1st double-paged spread of HERE COMES SANTA CAT  – to give you an idea of the format!


Christmas is approaching rapidly and Cat knows he’s unlikely to make Santa’s ‘nice’ list because he hasn’t always been, well, you know, nice! He comes up with a plan to dress up as Santa and give himself a present. Well that doesn’t quite go to plan and Cat might actually have to resort to being nice, if there’s enough time before Santa arrives. Maybe Cat has more ‘nice’ in him than he or anyone else realized? But even when Cat tries, (caroling, tree-decorating), CATastrophes always seem to occur. Will Cat get a Christmas present this year?

Why I like this Book:

Cat is such a cat! You know, selfish but cute and able to be kind and charming when necessary. This Cat is also just like some kids (and maybe adults) I know! The text is actually a series of questions and comments by Cat’s invisible owner addressed to Cat, who responds with expressions, signs, gestures… this is a very funny and creative way to write the story (as it is also in the prequel, EASTER CAT). Because of the small format, which works exceptionally well for this story, the text is always on one blank page and opposite is a simple, extraordinarily expressive and whimsical illustration of Cat in ink and colored pencils. This may sound a little old-fashioned, but I can assure you the conversation and all that happens to Cat alongside his very cute portrayal sustain the drama beautifully. This was a real page-turner for me and I can see it will need copious amounts of port on Christmas day for all the rereads, if you give it as a gift! A big paw up from me!


The story itself will lead into a great discussion about small acts of kindness.

Have the older kids make pie-charts (you’ll have to read the book to get this!!!)

If you missed it, do check out this interview I did with the author, Deborah Underwood and her cat, Bella, two days ago.

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

From publisher’s galley in exchange for impartial review


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20 Responses to Here Comes Santa Cat – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I absolutely loved Here Comes the Easter Cat, so I can’t wait to read Here Comes Santa Cat. I think the layout and the art are brilliant. Great review, Joanna.

  2. So appealing! Can’t wait to see what trouble Cat is getting into for the holidays.

  3. Clarbojahn says:

    Christmas will be here in another minute and this book will be outdated so I am glad you did a review of it now. Sounds just lovely, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for introducing it to us. 🙂

  4. Darshana says:

    Great review. Hope my library gets it soon! I read Easter Cat last spring. Her next one is Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat.

  5. Wendy Greenley says:

    This review reminds me that the year is flying along (getting away from me!). Love to get ready for the holidays with a laugh.

  6. I really enjoyed your interview with Deborah Underwood this week. I loved Easter Cat, so I know I’ll love Santa Cat. Like the simplicity. Looking forward to what kind of trouble Santa Cat gets into. This will be a perfect Christmas gift for grandchildren.

  7. I’d take that cat in ANY outfit! How about, It’s The Great PumCat!

  8. A Christmas book already? Oh, wait. Deborah Underwood. Okay. I get it. 🙂

    Seriously, this looks great, and I really enjoyed the interview. Thanks for linking it to the review.

  9. rhythm says:

    Christmas! Yikes! Is it that time already? I don’t understand time. But I think I could go with this Santa Cat. He looks like a clever one. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sounds like some conversations I’ve had with my cats. . . and they treat my husband as invisible. Cute story and illustrations. Thanks, Joanna!

  11. Yep Christmas is just around the corner. We are already selling Christmas stamps at work and accepting Santa letters from kids. And today I was out shopping and picked up a couple of things for Christmas gifts. Your lovely review makes this a worthwhile gift indeed for the stocking. Thanks Joanna.

  12. Catherine says:

    What a great idea to show this early. Now we’ve got plenty of time to read it before Christmas. It sounds fun even if I prefer dogs.

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