Li'l Santa
by Lewis Trondheim, Thierry Robin
(NBM, 2002)

It's too late for Christmas! So why bother to review it? Because you should do whatever you can to find and buy this wonderfully entertaining, whimsical, comical book of holiday fluff, ho ho ho!

Li'l Santa is written in pantomime. For those simple folks in Bing, Oklahoma, that means there are no words with its pictures.

The weakness of this approach is that complicated ideas are difficult, at best, and occasionally impossible to communicate. But Santa preparing for the Christmas delivery of gifts is a simple idea and just right for mime.

The strength of this approach is that anyone can "read" this book because there are no foreign languages in pantomime. All that is required is clear visual storytelling that captures the imagination.

Li'l Santa captures the imagination, and fills young hearts with wonder and smiles. It is drawn in a distinctive, highly colorful, minimalistic style full of snowmen, elves, penguins and even a snow dragon. For those simple folks in Bing, minimalistic means it is drawn in a "cartoony" style (how I hate that term and the foolish, negative connotations that is carries!) that will delight comics fans of all ages.

So, here's my belated Christmas present to all readers: Li'l Santa is highly recommended for children and for adults who are young at heart (and indifferent to that descriptive clichˇ!).

- Rambles
written by Michael Vance
published 15 March 2003

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