Reviews for Santa Trap
Booklist Reviews 2012 November #1
British bad boy Bradley Bartleby is a spoiled brat who wants to wring Santa for any and all goodies. This tale of one boy's mean-spirited attempts to get more than he is offered takes predictable turns, as Bradley manages to estrange those nearest to him with his thankless greed, becoming increasingly aggressive. Of course, his best-laid plans to waylay Santa backfire, and he himself is caught in the trap--while Santa gets sweet vengeance. Bernatene's bright, cartoony paintings offer proportions and distortions reminiscent of animated features like Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas. Bradley's cunning is fairly monotone, but his expressions and contrivances are delightful to examine. A solid find for readers more comfortable with videos than with stories on pages. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Bradley Bartleby had "been born bad." His antics grow worse throughout the years, and Santa doesn't cater to him: every Christmas Bradley receives only socks. Bradley hatches a plan to capture Santa--using an absurdly intricate trap--and make sure "the fat fool" gets what he deserves. Bernatene's digital illustrations bring the troublemaker's beastliness to life in this cautionary tale disguised as a holiday romp.
Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
A beady-eyed brat sits in a red, thronelike chair, glaring out of the cover in this hilarious, bizarre holiday story. What's that machinery behind him, and what is that kid up to? That's Bradley Bartleby on the throne, and he's bad, bad to the bone. He terrifies his "immensely rich" parents, mistreats his pet elephant and demands a huge list of presents every Christmas. But Santa brings him just one gift each year, a pair of socks. So the outraged Bradley builds a Santa trap in the chimney, planting dynamite at the bottom. He extends his trap to all the chimneys and adds tigers, guillotines and trapdoors. His parents decamp to a hotel, leaving Bradley alone on Christmas Eve, when he inadvertently falls into his own trap. But he is not forgotten by Santa, who still leaves him a pair of socks, along with a box of bandages and some antiseptic, in a slam-dunk conclusion that finds Bradley inside his own metal cage. The cleverly constructed plot unfolds with perfect comedic timing and dry wit, complemented by digitally produced mixed-media illustrations that have a suitably sinister, magnetic charm. Bernatene's artwork uses dark colors, shadows and cinematic perspectives to bring Bradley's world into believable focus. Now, some will find these devilishly delinquent developments positively beyond the bounds of good taste. But many others will say, "Naughty. But nice." (Picture book. 5-9) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2
"Bradley's parents always gave him whatever he demanded, not because they thought he deserved it, but because they were terrified of him." Bradley Bartleby was "born bad," and as a result, he gets socks from Santa every Christmas. Fed up, he spends an entire year turning his parents' mansion into a diabolical trap for the jolly old elf, one that involves dynamite, guillotines, and tigers (an especially grim scene shows Bradley grinning as he holds the disembodied head of a Santa dummy). Bernatene's cinematic mixed-media illustrations work wicked magic with Emmett's darkly comedic prose, as Bradley's plans backfire explosively. An ideal Christmas present for children who prefer Halloween. Ages 6-10. (Oct.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October
Gr 2-4--A beastly boy gets his comeuppance, partially due to his own efforts, and partially thanks to that wily old elf, Santa Claus. Bradley Bartleby starts out bad (at birth, he stole the doctor's stethoscope), and gets worse as he gets older. His wealthy, overindulgent, and frankly terrified parents give in to his every whim, but Santa thwarts him every Christmas with a token pair of socks. Bradley plots hideous revenge, but Santa (unseen except in Bradley's imagination through the entire book) gets the last word with his well-considered holiday gift. Bernatene's digital mixed-media illustrations are a perfectly creepy fit to this unusual holiday tale. There's no telling whether or not Santa's intervention will change Bradley's evil ways, and some might find this budding fiend more than a little disturbing, but fans of the Addams Family and Emily the Strange shenanigans might appreciate the dark humor.--Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library [Page 80]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.