Helen Ketteman has shoveled up one of the nuttiest Christmas tales of the season. Alongside James Warhola”s silly, page-packed illustrations, Ketteman”s tale of a Seattle blizzard gets wilder and wilder at each turn of the page. When Little Sissy McNab hears the weatherman predict a blizzard in her town, old Maynard Jenkins proceeds to educate Sissy about the mother of all blizzards — the blizzard of ”22 — which occurs during a year of the craziest weather ever. When Maynard”s pappy drops his sledgehammer, the ground is so cold, the tool shatters and the ground cracks all the way to China. Up at the North Pole, it is so hot that Santa and the elves are sunbathing in hammocks under palm trees that are sprouting up left and right. Unable to make toys without wintry weather, Santa packs up his workshop and elves and heads for Maynard”s town.
Santa and the elves need snow, however, and although the weather is frigid, there is not a fluffy, white flake in sight. When Maynard goes to old Miz Pendersnarf to get a spell for snow, the story is whipped up into a storm, culminating in a two-week blizzard with snowflakes as big as dinner plates and a bumper crop of toys for all the children. Ketteman”s story is a wonderful choice for a holiday read-aloud, or as inspiration for older children who are learning to write their own tall tales.