Picks and Pans Review: Christmastime

updated 12/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/21/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Sandra Boynton

Best known for her anthropomorphic greeting card creatures, Boynton occasionally tosses off a clever little book, of which this is a prime example. Many of the drawings are similar to those used on her cards, such as the sheep walking down the street saying, "Baa, humbug!" or the music for a Christmas song over which appear little animals in this order: Wee fish, ewe, a mare, egrets, moose, panda, hippo, gnu, deer. There are also comic essays. One notes the "slightly ominous Orwellian cast of the popular song, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." (He knows in Big Brother fashion if you've been bad or good and even sees you when you're sleeping, you'll recall.) Another points out that a plastic Christmas tree "will last many years and can be passed on to the next generation, if they have no taste either." Boynton suggests a cover for the fanciful magazine Ladies' Home Circle Companion, which promises articles on such Christmas crafts as "crocheted sportscar covers" and "cross-stitch tapestry of Domenico Veneziano's The Annunciation." A parody of those liquor company "profile" ads features Santa Claus, noting his favorite drink (60 million glasses of milk every Dec. 24) and a quote: "I think it's not so important what others say about you, as long as you truly believe in yourself." The book ends with a drawing of Santa in a forgetful mood as he takes off for the North Pole: "On DASHER, on DANCER, on...um...on DASHER and VIXEN! On COMET, on AJAX, on...um...DANCER and BLITZEN! Come CUPID and DONDER and...and...FLOPSY and IGOR! On...um...phooey...DASHER and NIXON! Come...HAPPY, come GRUMPY, come DOPEY and SNEEZY! On...oh, dash it all, dash it all, DASH AWAY ALL!" (Workman, $12.95)

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