Also illustrated by Poly Bernatene
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the Santa Trap
Tiger Trouble Maze
illustrated by Poly Bernatene
Bradley Bartleby is bad – so bad that he plans to trap Santa Claus and ruin Christmas.
With a house full of dynamite, guillotines and trap doors and a garden full of hungry tigers, what could possibly go wrong?
"Bernatene’s cinematic mixed-media illustrations work
wicked magic with Emmett’s darkly comedic prose ... an ideal
Christmas present for children who prefer Halloween."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - Starred Review
"A hilarious adventure.
The stylised illustrations complement the story brilliantly,
creating a wonderful darkly funny atmosphere."
UK Hardcover • ISBN-10: 1405091002 • ISBN-13: 9781405091008
UK Paperback •ISBN-10: 0330468057 • ISBN-13: 97-033046805
UK Mini-Paperback • ISBN-10: 1447236998 • ISBN-13: 978-1447236993
US Hardcover •ISBN-10: 1561456705 • ISBN-13: 978-1561456703
“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 ... 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.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY - Starred Review
A beady-eyed brat sits in a red, thronelike chair, glaring out of the cover in this hilarious, bizarre holiday story ... 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."
I’ve seen a giant stack of new holiday-themed picture books this year. While many of them are good, I find this one the most outstanding in terms of sheer entertainment value. … The no-holds-barred humor – both author and illustrator are not afraid to pull out all the stops with Bradley’s inventive weapons – is refreshingly funny. Emmett builds the tension well, and Bernatene’s digital mixed media illustrations are, at turns, over-the-top comical, as they should be, but then strangely beautiful in spots.
Julie Danielson, KIRKUS REVIEWS
This funny, beautifully illustrated story will have you talking about the importance of “being good for goodness’ sake.”
Tracy Grant, THE WASHINGTON POST
A hilarious adventure. The stylised illustrations complement the story brilliantly, creating a wonderful darkly funny atmosphere.
Poly Bernatene's illustrations make the manhunt sensationally watchable. Split screens, panoramas – it's like a movie on the page.
Nicola Smyth, THE INDEPENDENT
A dark, funny and refreshing alternative to some of the more saccharine Christmas offerings.
Jonathan Emmett comes up trumps with this plum of a Christmas story ... Argentinian illustrator Poly Bernatene is at his fantastical best here, and his richly textured backgrounds and darkly comical characters form a winning combination with the hilarious text. Bernatene sets up delicious contrasts between the genteel and terrified parents and the stampeding elephants and sizzling dynamite of Bradley’s world.
Catherine Ann Cullen, INIS MAGAZINE
'TIS the season to see who has risen to the challenge of producing a good Yuletide story. Jonathan Emmett and illustrator Poly Bernatene have exceeded the brief ... the denouement is amusing as well as satisfying.
Jill Rowbotham, THE AUSTRALIAN
Acerbic, biting and beautifully drawn, The Santa Trap toes the Christmas line between wholesome and wicked, making for a fantastically funny book that’s stunning to look at. We recommend this to all of those Lemony Snicket fans out there, who love their humour to have a bit of a bite.
The Santa Trap is up there with The Nightmare Before Christmas as a perfect alternative (and dark) Christmas story. It is certainly the perfect antidote to those saccharine sweet Christmas stories and fairy tales that get wheeled out every year, and it would be a crime if this does not one day find itself on the screen, whether big or small.
THE SANTA TRAP is an offbeat, funny Christmas story with as much of a moral lesson as more heartwarming Yuletide fare but a lot more laughs. ... It's a wonderfully different holiday book both kids and parents will enjoy.
Regan McMahon, COMMON SENSE MEDIA
A great alternative to the usual Christmassy tales that appear on the shelves at this time of year ... A great book for slightly older readers to enjoy for themselves and wonderful for parents to share with those younger.
Damian Harvey, ARMADILLO MAGAZINE
When I saw the cover of The Santa Trap by Jonathan Emmett, I knew I had to read it. From the darkly mischievous boy claiming the throne-like red chair to the background cluttered with contractions of some kind, I knew it would be a fun read. Was it ever. … The deep hued illustrations by Poly Bernatene work in perfect unison with the story text. The expressions on Bradley’s face and his body language add a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humor as each of his sinister traps are sprung not by Santa, but by himself. The Santa Trap is a must-have addition to any library, even if for merely its humor. But it could also serve as a kindly reminder to even the most “spirited” of children that Santa is not to be trifled with.
Denna Graves – Staff Reviewer, YA AND KIDS BOOKS CENTRAL
This a great alternative to traditional Christmas stories, bringing a darker side to the festive season, but with a satisfying enough resolution which won't leave younger audiences wondering whether Santa will actually be around to deliver their presents!
Melanie McGilloway, LIBRARY MICE
Everything about this book is a joy, and with all the Holy Seriousness found in so many of the festive selections this time of year, it’s awfully nice to find a book that is just flat out funny.
Donna McKinnon, 32 PAGES
Emmett has created a holiday picture book with a lot of edge, plenty of weaponry and some pretty spectacular explosions ... The art by Bernatene works so well here. It has plenty of zing and pop with its bold colors and modern feel ... A dynamic and very funny holiday book that will work particularly well for elementary-aged children who will delight in the weaponry, the trap, and the twist at the end.
Tasha Saecker, WAKING BRAIN CELLS
One read, and this will become a family favorite ... It has the clever plot that is creepy and darkly Gothic, yet so funny you end up with tears streaming down your cheek. The illustrations are mesmerizing and the text is madcap funny ... Kids will love this story, adults will love this story ... The Santa Trap is destined to be a classic ... If you are looking for a hilarious, cleverly plotted Christmas story, one you can share with all ages, The Santa Trap is the one to get.
Sue Morris, KID LIT REVIEWS
A humorous read of vengeance gone wrong, "The Santa Trap" is an original and much recommended children's Christmas picturebook, very much recommended reading.
A captivating children's picture book which takes an entirely unexpected approach to the Christmas season ... an abundance of splendid illustrations ... a pleasure to read aloud ... we can highly recommend it.
Susan Syddall, BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Not a nice and fuzzy Christmas book, but destined to become a holiday favorite for those who can't resist a little naughty. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, The Santa Trap as a well-crafted picture book to be enjoyed by parents as much as children.
Trudy Zuflelt, BOYS AND LITERACY
I ADORED this book … The story itself is fantastic … a GREAT new addition to anyone’s holiday reading list, only with a twist ... Recommended read for all ages.
If you’ve read all of the traditional Christmas books this year and are looking for something new and different, The Santa Trap is the perfect choice! … This zany, hilarious story has great comedic timing … full of exciting twists and turns, and the surprise ending will have kids and parents roaring with laughter.