“Blast off! It’s an out-of-this-world Christmas when Space Elf Sam, an overzealous North Pole spaceship pilot, is charged with the very special mission of delivering gifts to the children on far-off colony Alpha One.
Striking color and well-placed areas of shadow embolden the 3-D computer generated artwork (the illustrator is Audrey Wood’s son, in his first children’s book). Sam’s chiseled face and bright eyes are likely to remind many kids of Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, a terrific choice for kids who would choose a rocketship over a reindeer-drawn sleigh.”
“From the Toy Story school of 3-D computer animation comes this intergalactic Christmas drama from Wood (Sweet Dream Pie) and son. The time is the future, when humans have colonized other planets and Santa needs a team of delivery agents to distribute his Yuletide goodies. Space Elf Sam is charged by Santa to get Christmas presents to Alpha One – a space colony that has just come to Santa’s attention – even though the hour is late. A bit of a hotshot, Sam tries to peel some light years off his destination by warping through a hydrogen cloud, but only succeeds in damaging his spaceship.
He makes an emergency landing on the unexplored planet of Gom. The Gommer’s apparent menace turns out to be a case of xenophobia, and when Sam is brought before the king and queen, he explains Christmas and helps the Gommers concoct their own holiday ceremony with the help of some Teebles (trees), Zogs (ornamental critters), and Winky-Winks (twinkling lights). Despite all delays, Sam arrives on Alpha One on time. The pleasure of giving is a message worn on the sleeve here, the energy of the text is duplicated (and sometimes bested) by the illustrations. They have an electric palette just this side of garish, will make readers want to reach inside the pages and pull the characters out, and vastly reward rereadings.”