Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Santa Trap

The Santa Trap

Jonathan Emmett
Illustrator:  Poly Bernatene 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Peachtree Publishers, 2012   ISBN: 978-1561456703

Most people who are bad become bad over time, but in the case of Bradley Bartleby, the boy was born bad. In fact, he came into the world bad through and through, and his badness only got worse as he grew older. Bradley’s wealthy and indulgent parents got him everything he wanted, and they did so because they were literally terrified of their son.

Every Christmas, Bradley demanded that Santa Claus give him everything on his huge wish list, and every year Santa gave Bradley a pair of socks, which infuriated the boy. It did not matter that Bradley got all the things on his wish list from his parents. All that mattered was that Santa was not doing what Bradley wanted him to do.

One Christmas Bradley was so angry with Santa that he set about creating a trap for the rotund elf. Bradley spent the whole year putting sticks of dynamite in the chimneys, training tigers to attack Santa, putting guillotines in all the doors and windows, and putting trapdoors into all the floors. Bradley’s whole house was turned into one great big trap for Santa.

Children are going to laugh out loud when they see Bradley Bartleby’s traps, and when they see what happens to the boy on Christmas Eve. Wonderful illustrations capture Bradley’s dreadful personality perfectly, and young readers will come to appreciate that Santa Claus knows a thing or two about bad little boys.