Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho!

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! Book Poster Image
The barnyard pranksters almost block Santa in funny tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows all the elements of a typical Christmas-tree-decorating scene.

Positive Messages

Sometimes well-intentioned plans get messed up. But you can always clean up the mess and have a good time with your friends and loved ones. It's fun to celebrate with those you love.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Duck is determined to deliver the special thing he's brought for Farmer Brown. The farmer is kind to put out stockings for the animals who live on the farm, even though they drive him nuts sometimes. Santa saves the day.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin is a holiday installment in the popular picture book series that began with Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. The animals are always up to something, confusing poor Farmer Brown. This time he thinks he hears Santa coming on Christmas Eve, but it's really Duck, who ends up stuck in the farmer's chimney -- and then all the other animals get stuck there, too. It takes the real Santa to fix things, and then Farmer Brown and the animals have a lovely time together decorating the tree and sipping hot chocolate. Lots of laughs and cozy fun.

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What's the story?

It's Christmas Eve, and Duck dons his night goggles and climbs up to the top of the barn to take a zip line to Farmer Brown's roof. Farmer Brown hears a jingle and a swoosh and thinks it's Santa, so he hurries off to bed. Duck has something in his backpack for Farmer Brown and wants to give it to him Santa-style: down the chimney. But he gets stuck, and the sheep go up to help him get unstuck. Then they get stuck, too, as do the cows, pigs, goats, mice, roosters, cat, and dog! "Ho! Ho! Uh-oh./Everyone is stuck!" Santa arrives and magically zooms down the chimney, sending all the animals and a cloud of soot into Famer Brown's living room. Soon "all the creatures are stirring" around the tree. Then Duck pulls out what he brought: the star for the top of the tree. When Santa flies away in his reindeer-drawn sleigh, we see he's wearing Duck's night goggles.

Is it any good?

It's always fun to see the crazy antics of Farmer Brown's animals, and their good-hearted nature shines in this fun holiday tale. CLICK, CLACK, HO! HO! HO! is a charming addition to the series, with a wonderful wintry palette of blue-and-white snowy landscapes and cherry-red, green, and yellow watercolors for the interior scenes. Illustrator Betsy Lewin's strong black outlines make all the cartoon-like images pop.

There are also plenty of small details to pore over amid the simple story: labeled stockings hung for Mice, Pigs, Sheep, and Cows; a pig and cat opening the ornament box; a goat and cow stringing the lights on the Christmas tree; and mice stirring a cup of hot chocolate. It's a happy holiday hit!

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about holidays. How do you celebrate at your house?

  • Have you read other books in this series? Do you think Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! is as funny as the other books?

  • What's funny about Duck? Why is he always making mischief? The animals seem to drive Farmer Brown crazy, but he really likes them. How can you tell he does in this story?

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