Day 5 of our Christmas countdown is a surprise appearance from Santa in a helicopter. Originally published in Japan in 1983, this book was joyfully translated last year. It’s a hilarious story about Santa, windows, animals, and mixed-up gifts. Check out Presents Through the Window by Taro Gomi, 2016.

Our family is a big fan of Taro Gomi’s work. We are constantly discovering new books to adore and I was ecstatic last year to add a Christmas one from him this year.

This is not your usual Santa. But he does come with a sack of presents. Unfortunately, Santa makes quick work of his present drops by taking census of the home’s inhabitants with a quick glance through the windows. With the use of clever die-cuts, the reader sees what Santa sees on one page and then flips the page to see the actual animals inside the home.

click on the image to see the page flip and die-cut

Though Santa’s snap judgments work out in the beginning, he quickly becomes mistaken about interpreting what he is seeing in each window. A large pig gets a present for a little kitten. Three birds get a present for one zebra. An alligator receives a present for a fox….

click on the image to see the page flip and die-cut

On Christmas morning, much sadness and confusion occurs, but thankfully the animals are able to work it out and every one has a Merry Christmas “even the little rabbits.”

It is no wonder that Taro Gomi has created more than 350 books for all ages. There is a deep cleverness, brilliance, and wisdom to Gomi’s books. The layout and color palette are striking and engaging. And there is always something beautifully mundane about the subject matters, but handled so cleverly, that it makes for a perfect, well-requested book. The die-cuts are such a brilliant addition to this story. And the overall feel has a beautiful Japanese clean look, but is classic appealing in such a fantastic way. I highly recommend adding this one to your Christmas books. It is light-hearted and yet hilarious in its engagement and mystery.

“Good work, Santa!”

Join me tomorrow as we look at another Christmas Picture Book in our 25 Days countdown!