cover image On Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve

Margaret Wise Brown. HarperCollins Publishers, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-06-023648-9

Three children sneak out of bed to observe their cozy house awash in the quiet magic of Christmas Eve. Brown's (Goodnight Moon) text balances heart-pounding, childlike excitement with graceful imagery (""The Christmas tree was all there, trimmed with shiny glints of red and blue and green that flickered in the dying firelight""). In Calder's (The Christmas House) soft, grainy paintings, quaint and beautifully appointed houses nestle in the hush of a nighttime snowfall evoking suburban New England. The gray interior light of the children's house is warmed and brightened by the glow of a fire in the hearth, lanterns and bulbs twined around an old-fashioned Christmas tree. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)