How Does Santa Go Down the Chimney? (Hardcover)
September/October 2023 Kids Indie Next List
“Kids will love this playful look at how Santa does it! Parents will love that the book provides no answers, just fun suggestions — and includes homes that don’t have chimneys. The Barnett-Klassen superstar team delivers once again!”
— Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA
The beloved, multi-award-winning duo of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen tackle a perennial question.
When Santa arrives at a child’s house on Christmas Eve, does he go down the chimney feetfirst or headfirst? What if he gets stuck? What if there’s no chimney? Maybe he slides under the door, as thin as a piece of paper? Or is it possible he pours himself through the faucet? What happens once he’s inside? Whether it’s shape-shifting or impromptu laundry use, Mac Barnett’s iconic talent for earnest deadpan humor and Jon Klassen’s irresistibly funny art honor the timeless question with answers both ridiculous and plausible, mounting in hilarity as the night continues. Channeling a child’s fanciful explanations (and begging for further speculation), this latest collaboration by a New York Times best-selling team will find a secure spot among family holiday traditions.
About the Author
Mac Barnett is a New York Times best-selling author of several books for children, including Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, the Shapes Trilogy, and many others illustrated by Jon Klassen. He is also the author of Just Because, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault; A Polar Bear in the Snow, illustrated by Shawn Harris; John’s Turn, illustrated by Kate Berube; and Twenty Questions, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Winner of three New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Book Awards and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, Mac Barnett lives in Oakland, California.
Jon Klassen is the creator of the #1 New York Times best-selling I Want My Hat Back, which won a Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, and its companions This Is Not My Hat, which won a Caldecott Medal and a Kate Greenaway Medal, and We Found a Hat. He is also the author-illustrator of The Rock from the Sky and The Skull, and the illustrator of Extra Yarn, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, and the Shapes Trilogy, all by Mac Barnett. Originally from Ontario, Jon Klassen now lives in Los Angeles.
Klassen’s illustrations, done in graphite pencil and ink and finished digitally, fit the absurdist humor wonderfully. The conclusion—that the narrator has no idea how Santa does it but is glad he can—is a great kicker.
—Booklist (starred review)
A dynamic picture-book duo turn their attention to one of the great mysteries of our time. . . . Curiosity runs wild as Barnett ponders everything from Santa doing the laundry in children’s basements to his ability to get along with every household dog he meets, while Klassen’s there to bring each possibility to life. . . . For all that it leans heavily on absurdity, this book exhibits some serious heart.. . . . In the market for an understated Christmas classic? Behold! A Christmas miracle!
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Barnett’s tone perfectly captures a child’s endless stream of imaginative conjectures, while Klassen’s droll idiosyncratic graphite and ink illustrations bring out the humor full force. . . . Another hilarious hit that will be a welcome addition to the lighter side of Christmas collections.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
The frequent collaborators take the simple question of the title and dive right in. . . Barnett sustains a wide-eyed, innocent tone throughout, and Klassen’s Santa appears amiable in this smart Yuletide comedy that visualizes everything from Santa sitting in his skivvies in front of a clothes washer to Saint Nick arriving by post.
For anyone who has ever wondered how exactly Santa goes down the chimney, this new story combines Mac Barnett’s deadpan humor with Jon Klassen’s irresistible art to explore both absolutely ridiculous and entirely plausible answers to an age-old question.
—The Barnes & Noble Reads Blog