Santa's high-tech Christmas by Mike Dumbleton

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Ill. by Angela Perrini. New Frontier Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9781925594270
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Santa Claus, Technology, Verse, Humour. When Santa goes high-tech this year, he of course, being an older gentleman, has problems with the new equipment. While delivering the presents from his sleigh, the screen on his iPad goes blank, so he doesn't know what present to give to whom. He is distraught, after all, he has spent the whole year preparing for this night, touching up the marks on his red car, and making sure he is up to the minute with his high-tech gear. His list on his iPad keeps him informed about who to give a present to, and he even uses a rocket-pack to deliver the gifts after parking his car in places where car parks are in short supply. But in rocketing up to the next child, he drops his device, causing him to sigh most loudly, waking a young girl in the building. She is able to restore his device to its normal function, and sends him off to complete his work on Christmas Eve, telling him to contact her if he needs help. Which he does with a funny twist in the tale.
Readers will laugh out loud at the situation Santa finds himself in, recognising the frustration that comes with technology when it doesn't do what it is expected to do. Mike Dumbleton's sense of humour shines through, giving the readers a technically adept Santa, using devices with ease, until a small problem occurs. Readers will love Santa's attempts at bringing his work up to date, and think of other ways he could use technology to improve his lot.
Perrini's delightful illustrations reflect her Italian heritage with Christmas in the northern hemisphere: snow covered fields and roofs, a heavy doona on the bed and wood fires in the houses, all delighting Australian audiences used to the heat and sun of December in the southern hemisphere.
A wonderful read aloud, the rhyming text lends itself to repetition and learning sections to read with the adult reader, while predicting the rhyming word at the end of each line. A whole heap of good fun is to be had at this time of the year, with a beautifully presented book such as this offering a very funny tweak on the usual fare.
Fran Knight