Kids who like electronics, robots, tools and gears might prefer this version of the old song to the original with the partridge in a pear tree. This flashy rendition has a cartridge in a gear tree presented by a robot Santa, who arrives in his spaceship pulled by robotic reindeer. Other gifts from Santa in the countdown include three wrench hens and nine droids a-dancing. Computer-generated illustrations in dark, edgy hues are filled with witty robots of different designs, such as the ten clock-lords sleeping, who have heads made of watch and clock parts. A final frenetic spread finds all the characters from all the verses crammed into one huge robotic celebration with mechanical letters spelling out a holiday greeting. There's nothing sugary sweet about this 21st-century riff on an old Christmas chestnut. (Picture book. 4-7)Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
K-Gr 3--In Hale's steampunkish version of the famous song, Robo-Santa is a jolly old bot, shaped a bit like an old-fashioned fire hydrant. His gifts, ranging from "a Cartridge in a Gear Tree" to "Twelve Beat Bots thumping," are definitely more interesting to modern kids than partridges and drummers, while five golden rings have been replaced by "five BOT-TO-RIES" (definitely more useful to and coveted by the electronic crowd). The brightly colored digital artwork pays subtle homage to everything from Star Wars to Dr. Who and rewards careful study with fun details. Not a necessary purchase, but one that will be appreciated by budding robot fans.--Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library[Page 71]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.