I just received a book in the mail—a copy of The Year Without a Santa Claus by Phyllis McGinley, with illustrations by Kurt Werth. The J.B. Lippincott Company published this title in 1956.
This was the poem that inspired the animated TV special from the 1970s.
But what to my wondering eyes should appear—is Santa Claus enjoying a few puffs from his hookah?
Whoa—what heady days the fifties were for kids’ book illustrators! Fat chance something like this would pass muster with an art director nowadays!
Come to think of it, a few years ago I did do a project that called for Santa to smoke a cigar. I’ll dig around in the attic and unearth those sketches for a future post.