Here Comes Santa Cat

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Here Comes Santa Cat Book Poster Image
Cat learns how to make the Nice list in funny holiday tale.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Teaches a gentle lesson about kindness and sharing.

Positive Messages

Be nice. Don't be selfish. Sharing can make you feel good. You may be rewarded for your kindness. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Cat starts out selfish but learns to be nice and share. The narrator is patient and kindly gives Cat a present. Santa is kind and makes Cat feel special and appreciated. 

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Here Comes Santa Cat, by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda, is another sweet and funny holiday tale from the team that created Here Comes the Easter Cat. Once again, Cat must overcome his selfish ways. And once again he speaks only through signs he holds up to answer the narrator's questions. Cat starts out trying to impersonate Santa, but ultimately learns how to be nice, to share, and gets rewarded by the real Santa for his kindness. 

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What's the story?

Cat's afraid he won't get a present because he's on the Naughty list, so he decides to step into Santa's role, red suit and all. But the narrator explains that Santa doesn't give presents to himself, and asks why Cat doesn't just be nice? Cat tries, but ends up caroling badly, giving fish to kid, and toppling a Christmas tree. Then the narrator gives him a gift of two cans of fancy cat food, and Cat gives a needy little cat one of them."Cat, do you realize what just happened?" asks the narrator. "You did something nice!" Then Santa shows up and gives him a present: an official Santa's Helper (elf) suit, and they ride off together in Santa's sleigh. 

Is it any good?

Underwood shows there's more clever fun to be had with the star of the wonderfully original Here Comes the Easter Cat, who speaks directly to the unseen narrator only through signs. In this even more universal story, Cat must conquer his greedy tendencies and learn it's more blessed to give than to receive. And that being nice isn't that hard. 

Claudia Reuda's spare, expressive drawings in ink and colored pencil on stark white pages show Cat's shifting emotions, hopes, and epiphanies. They look a lot like the quickly changing moods of a little kid, so young readers (and their parents) will have no trouble relating. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about giving and getting Christmas presents. Does talk about Santa keeping Naughty and Nice lists make you be kinder around the holidays? 

  • What's funny about a cat who dresses up as Santa? Do you like holiday stories featuring animal characters? What others have you read? 

  • Can you imagine speaking only through signs you hold up instead of using your voice? Try having a conversation with someone like that. You could use little sticky notes instead of a big sign. Try it for five minutes. 

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For kids who love holidays

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