Advent Calendar

Christmas in July by Arthur Yorinks and Richard Egielski

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A Santa book for our times, Christmas in July is the torrid tale of a year in which Saint Nick loses his pants to a rich, selfish New York businessman called Rump.

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‘Who do you think I am?’ Rump fumed. ‘Santa Claus?’

‘But I’m Santa,’ said Santa. ‘And those are my pants!’

‘You’re a bum!’ Rump yelled, and he swifly kicked Santa out. Boy what a temper.

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Desperate for trousers, Santa stood on a corner calling out to busy pedestrians: ‘Hi I’m Santa. Got any pants?’ Immediately he was arrested for loitering.

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The result of Mr Rump’s actions is a full scale global emergency and financial crash, something which only the release of Santa from jail can put right.

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‘Nobody went to school. Nobody went to work. Shops closed. Businesses went bankrupt. I’m telling you, by the time Santa got out of jail, the world was a mess.’

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But unlike the real world, the rich New York businessman is humbled and realises the error of his ways, reuniting the destitute Santa with his pants.

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‘They’re so you,’ Rump said. ‘They’re…. Wait a minute. You’re Santa!’ A crowd gathered. ‘It’s Santa!’ they hollered. ‘I’m Santa!’ said Santa. ‘With pants!’ 

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This very odd book was written by Arthur Yorinks, a friend and sometime collaborator of Maurice Sendak (on Mommy! and the Miami Giant). The cartoonish artwork too by Richard Egielski owes something to later period Sendak.

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With its very New York attitude this is one to place alongside Roger Duvoisin’s One Thousand Christmas Beards and Home Alone 2 – although perhaps we’ve all had enough surprise appearances from Mr (T)rump for one year.   

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