Meet a beastly boy with a dastardly plan that could ruin Christmas!

Bradley Bartleby is bad. Very bad. To avoid Bradley's wrath, his wealthy parents buy him whatever he wants. All the adults in Bradley's life are running scared - except for Santa Claus, who refuses to give him anything but socks.

But Bradley vows to get what he deserves. If Santa won't give him the gifts he wants, Bradley will just have to steal them.

It takes Bradley a full year to execute his plan. In the end, he transforms his house into a trap so fearsome even his parents refuse to enter it. With dynamite, trapdoors, guillotines, and tigers in his path, Santa doesn't stand a chance. Or does he?


Author Photo

In addition to authoring picture books, Jonathan Emmett also writes and paperengineers pop-up books. He is the author of several books, including The Princess and the Pig, also illustrated by Poly Bernatene. He lives in England.

You can visit Jonathan Emmett’s website here.

Author Photo

Poly Bernatene is a visiting professor at Buenos Aires School of Fine Art. He has worked in advertising, animation, and comics, and has illustrated over sixty children's books. He lives in Argentina.

You can visit Poly Bernatene’s website here.



“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.” ―Kirkus Reviews (STARRED REVIEW)

“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)

“Bernatene's digital mixed-media illustrations are a perfectly creepy fit to this unusual holiday tale...fans of the Addams Family and Emily the Strange shenanigans might appreciate the dark humor.” ―School Library Journal

“In a humorous twist ending, it's Bradley who's served his comeuppance (and another pair of socks). Bernatene's digital illustrations bring the troublemaker's beastliness to life in this cautionary tale disguised as a holiday romp.” ―Horn Book

“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.” ―Booklist

“In the laugh-out-loud but decidedly iconoclastic 'The Santa Trap'...a spoiled rich boy vows to 'catch the fat fool and take every present he's got.'” ―Newsday

“This funny, beautifully illustrated story will have you talking about the importance of 'being good for goodness' sake.” ―The Washington Post


Best of 2012 List ―Kirkus Reviews 2012

Storytelling World Resource Awards (winner, Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners) ―Storytelling World magazine 2014