Richard Paul Evans, Author, Daniel Craig, Illustrator , illus. by Daniel Craig. S&S $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-83468-4

In the long-ago world of Evans's (The Christmas Box) message-driven tale, the high point of Christmas is not a visit from Santa, but the lighting of the Christmas flame in the mountain "Christmas town" of Noel. This particular year, the aging Keeper of the Flame (who looks a lot like St. Nick) turns over his duty to a pure-hearted boy who performs a selfless act of kindness. Craig marks his children's book debut with a series of dimly lit, opulent computer-generated scenes that often have the appearance of acrylic or oil paintings. Realistic in their details and Old World in their mood, they reinforce the old-fashioned, homily-like quality of the text. All ages. (Oct.)