As an author's note explains, ``reddle'' (a red clay) was sold in centuries past in rural England by simple folk to farmers who used it for marking sheep. Here, a brother and sister lost on the heath during a blizzard on Christmas Eve are rescued by a ``reddlewoman.'' She uses magic to summon St. Nick, who sees the children safely home. Lewis writes with the pen of an angel; his imagery (a ``ragged tooth sky,'' ``a violent snowstorm... bucketing out the sky,'' ``horses [that] whisper steam in their stalls'') is sheer beauty. And the snow-softened landscapes and shadowy interiors of Kelley's moody, expressive pastels create a setting worthy of the tale. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1994 Release date: 11/01/1994 Genre: Children's
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