#787 – Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda

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here comes santa cat kindle cver
Here Comes Santa Cat
Series: Here Comes Cat
Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrations by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers  10/21/2014
88 pages     Age 3—5


“HO, HO . . . WHO?

“The holidays are around the corner,
And Cat knows what he has to do.
But being nice . . .
It doesn’t come naturally.
Still, Christmas is a time for miracles,
And with a little luck, even Cat may
Find the holiday spirit—and a festive surprise of his own.” [inside jacket]

Cat is dressed as Santa so he can give himself a present, from Santa, because he believes he is on Santa’s naughty list. The unseen narrator asks Cat why and Cat shows a pie graph. Sure enough, Cat has been more naughty than nice. The narrator asks Cat if he can be Santa, with climbing down chimneys and owning magic reindeer. The narrator suggests Cat just try to be nice. Cat comes up with a few ways he can be nice. He can go caroling, give presents to kids, and help decorate the town Christmas tree. Unfortunately for Cat, he comes up short on each try. Now how will Cat get on Santa’s nice list? Is it too late?


Here Comes Santa Cat is a smart, low-key story with loads of laughs in both the text and the illustrations. Cat never speaks a word, except an occasional meow. Cat also uses funny signs to communicate with the narrator. I love this series and this particular book. Anyone who feels they need to be little nicer, to be assured of Santa having them on the correct list, will enjoy Here Comes Santa Cat. They might even learn a few good ways to be extra nice. No matter which list you are on, Cat will entertain you and cause a smile or two. Laughing is also a high probability.



The illustrations are simple with clean white backgrounds keeping the focus on Cat. Cat’s attempts to be nice, not succeed, and try again are hilarious. His expressions, expertly revealed on the signs and on his face, are priceless. On each spread, Cat is more loveable than a cat wants to be, ranging from adorable to cute. The comedic timing, in Cat and Narrator’s bantering, is excellent. Neither misses a beat.

Kids of all ages will love Here Comes Santa Cat. Anyone can be the narrator, including kids who will love talking to Cat. After a few times through the story, young children will most likely “read” Here Comes Santa Cat on their own. Their imaginations will drive various conversations with Cat, as kids help Cat get back on Santa’s nice list. Though probably not the aim of the author, kids’ conversations with Cat will entertain and delight parents.


Sometimes the best stories, such as Here Comes Santa Cat, seem easy to write and illustrate. This illusion draws us into the story.  Though Cat’s problem is most likely a universal cat problem, his attempts to make Santa’s nice list are admirable and definitely humorous. Here Comes Santa Cat works as a read aloud, a one-on-one bedtime story, and as an annual Christmas story. Here Comes Santa Cat simply succeeds on every level, making it my new favorite Christmas story.

HERE COMES SANTA CAT. Text copyright © 2015 by Deborah Underwood. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Claudia Rueda. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, Dial Books for Young Readers, New York, NY.

Purchase Here Comes Santa Cat at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksApple iBooksPenguin.

Find Here Comes Santa Cat on Goodreads HERE.

Meet the author, Deborah Underwood, at her website:  http://www.deborahunderwoodbooks.com/
Meet the illustrator, Claudia Rueda, at her website:  http://www.claudiarueda.com/
Find more books at the Dial BYR website:  http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/dialbooksforyoungreaders/
Twitter            @penguinkids
.        .  Dial BYR is an imprint of Penguin Random House Company.  http://www.penguin.com/

Here Comes Cat Series
Here Comes Valentine Cat
Here Comes the Tooth Fairy Cat
Here Comes the Easter Cat

Also by Deborah Underwood
Interstellar Cinderella (w/ Meg Hunt)
Bad Bye, Good Bye (w/ Jonathan Bean)

Also by Claudia Rueda
Is It Big or Is It Little? (reviewed here)
Huff & Puff

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Full Disclosure: Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda, and received from Dial BYR(an imprint of Penguin Random House Company), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

HERE COMES SANTA CAT by Deborah Underwood. Illustrations © 2015 by Claudia Rueda. Used by permission of Dial BYR.

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5 thoughts on “#787 – Here Comes Santa Cat by Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda

  1. Pingback: #999 – Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda | Kid Lit Reviews

  2. Pingback: #823 – Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood & Claudia Rueda | Kid Lit Reviews

  3. We love this series and that Cat communicates with signage. So fun! Thanks for the great review, Sue.


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