REVIEW: Excuse Me, Santa by Dave Hughes & Holly Ife; Illustrated by Phillip Bunting

Published: 1st October 2018

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture Book

RRP: $17.99

4/5 Stars 

Martha May has marvellous manners, especially at CHRISTMAS. She writes very neat cards and gives very thoughtful gifts… and she NEVER forgets to leave yummy snacks for SANTA CLAUS and his reindeer! But what will happen when Martha May gives SANTA a GIANT PUDDING?!

Find out in the EXPLOSIVE Christmas tale by Dave Hughes, Holly Ife and Philip Bunting!

2018 has been a great year for Christmas books. Excuse Me, Santa by Dave Hughes and Holly Ife and Illustrated by Phillip Bunting is one of this years stand outs  from the new crop of festive themed books for kids. Humorous, easy to read and full of festive cheer, what’s not to love about Excuse Me, Santa.

Following on from the 2017 domination of fart books for kids, Aussie comdian Dave Hughes and his wife Holly Ife  have once again teamed up with illustrator Phillip Bunting to release a follow up Martha May Christmas themed book. Despite what your thoughts on toilet humor books may be, there is no doubt in my mind, that Excuse Me, Santa is not one of the more original and stand out picture books on the shelves this Christmas. While it may not be a traditional Christmas book, it has all the makings of a book that kids will love to re-read time and time again; it’s funny, obscure and just generally good fun.

Martha May has exceptionally good manners, a point well stated in this book. So when she leaves a treat out for Santa and his reindeer, she goes to bed feeling like her ‘host’ duties have been well done. A loud and obnoxious crunching wakes her up in the middle of night and who does she find? Santa eating the reindeer’s food! Still hungry, Martha offers Santa a piece of her Aunt’s Christmas pudding … a piece Santa gladly accepts and the rest is an explosive and unrelenting tale full of good cheer and lots and lots of laughs.

With Dave Hughes comedic whit, Excuse Me, Santa was always going to be a hilarious tale of misfortune and good deeds. Teaming up with his wife Holly Ife once again, the dynamic Aussie duo have created a funny christmas tale that has real heart, while still being relatively close to the night before Christmas tale. The text is simple, clear and in bold black font. Generally speaking, there is no more than one sentence to a page, allowing for Phillip Bunting’s bold, vibrant and full double page illustration’s to take center stage through Martha May’s and Santa’s Christmas plight.

All in all, Excuse Me, Santa is a great addition to the festive book line up of 2018, and one that I’m sure kids and adults of all ages will reach for again and again this year.

To purchase a copy of Excuse Me, Santa, visit the following online retailers:

Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Angus & Robertson |Booktopia | Book Depository | Boomerang Books | Dymocks | QBD


To learn more about Dave Hughes and Holly Ife, visit the following social media sites:

Dave Hughes Website | Facebook |


To learn more about Phillip Bunting, visit the following social media sites:

Phillip’s Website | Instagram |


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.