I would have bought Santa Retires based on the cover. In fact, I kind of did. The story is adorable, and understandable. It's not really a stretch to think that Santa would want to retire: He spends an entire year building toys, and then has to zip around the world in one night to deliver them. It must be exhausting. And such a thankless job, really. Poor Santa. He needs a break, and David Biedrzycki gives him one.
There is something very special about David Biedrzycki's artwork. There is a dash of reality mixed in with loads of humor. There are small touches that make each illustrated page a delight. The "weather" page is hilarious. I love how pretty and glamorous Mrs. Claus is. She's is proof that you don't have look frumpy to look Christmas-y -- not one novelty sweater in sight. My little boy likes the artwork because the slimmed-down Santa bears a strong resemblance to his Grandpap. And you don't want to overlook the crab or the mouse.