#220 – The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett

5 stars

The Santa Trap

Jonathan Emmettlogo_123377_web (1)

Poly Bernatene

Peachtree Publishers

32 Pages     Ages: 4+


Jacket Cover:  Bradley Bartleby is bad. Very bad. All the adults in Bradley’s life are running scared—except for Santa Claus, who refuses to give him anything but socks. But Bradley vows to get what he deserves.


Bradley is a bad kid. His wealthy parents are afraid of Bradley’s wrath so they give in to anything Bradley demands—which is nearly everything a kid could want and then some. Santa is not afraid of Bradley. Rather than read Bradley’s lengthy wish list, Santa simply gives him socks. Every year Bradley gets nothing but socks. Who doesn’t need socks? Santa could have given Bradley a lump of coal.

Bradley vows that this year will be the year he gets his revenge against Santa. For one year, Bradley rigs the house to trap Santa. The house has gotten so dangerous with the dynamite, trip wires, nets, wild animals and so much more that no adult will enter the house, including Bradley’s parents. When he has trapped Santa, Bradley is going to take every present in his sack and on his sleigh. Bradley is going to ruin Christmas.

I love this story. Bradley is worse than the Grinch, with a heart as hard as a cement floor on your knees, when you’ve tripped and fallen. Bradley is determined to get something other than socks this year. All the adults are afraid of this bratty kid who has been a little sociopath since birth. Santa doesn’t have much chance, especially when you see all that Bradley has done to his parent’s house. A kid with an unlimited budget can do a lot of harm in one year. Bradley’s determination, and knowledge of traps and explosives, has him building an amusement park of snares.

The Santa Trap is a fun book to read. One read, and this will become a family favorite. I would love to tell you how it ends, but you know I cannot. If I could, I would tell you the ending is surprising, funny, and not at all what I had expected. This is so good I it should become a movie*. For me, The Santa Trap is a movie in print. It has the clever plot that is creepy and darkly Gothic, yet so funny you end up with tears streaming down your cheek.

The illustrations are mesmerizing and the text is madcap funny. I love all the stories that make up the holiday season, but The Santa Trap is simply funny. There is no moral or lesson. It is not a cautionary tale. The Santa Trap is simply a fun picture book that makes me giggle and smile, then giggle and smile some more. Kids will love this story, adults will love this story, and in a year or two, after there has been some distance, even Santa will love this story.

The Santa Trap is destined to be a classic. The illustrations are superb with bright colors, intricate details, and moody in all the right places. Poly Bernatene illustrated what must be some of his best work. The story is fantastic and I want to see it come alive. The cover already has the look of a movie poster. If you are looking for a hilarious, cleverly plotted Christmas story, one you can share with all ages, The Santa Trap is the one to get.

* This is not in any way related to the 2007 movie entitled The Santa Trap




The Santa Trap

Author: Jonathan Emmett    website              
Illustrator: Poly Bernatene     website
Publisher: Peachtree Publishers    website
Release Date: October 1, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-56145-670-3
Number of Pages: 32
Ages: 4+

Copyright ©2012 Poly Bernatene & Peachtree Publishing, used with permission

12 thoughts on “#220 – The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett

  1. Sounds like my kind of book, and a book that will become a classic.The illustrations look amazing. Wow, you’ve been busy, Sue. Thanks for all the great reviews on Christmas books. How did you get those little snow flakes falling all over the screen? Very cool.


    • This is THE best Christmas book for 2012,
      The little snow flakes are from Santa. Who else? But they are only on the sites that are at the TOP of his “Nice Site List” or Nice Blog List (interchangeable)
      You must not have any. On the “Naughty List” again this year?


  2. Pingback: CHRISTMAS BOOKS — 2012 « Kid Lit Reviews

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