cover image The Christmassy Cactus

The Christmassy Cactus

Beth Ferry, illus. by A.N. Kang. HarperCollins, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-303964-3

As the holidays approach, a family’s beloved potted cactus observes the many changes that take over her domestic environment in the form of “shimmering things. Sparkling things. Twinkling, tinseling, transforming things.” But though the botanical being eagerly awaits its own decorations, her youthful owner, portrayed with brown skin and pigtail puffs, seems to forget about her, and Tiny Cactus sadly guesses why: “How could anyone remember a tiny green spiny thing when there was a giant green piney thing sparkling in the living room?” The spiky protagonist makes a holiday wish, which remains ungranted through Christmas Day—until nature delivers a wondrous surprise. Kang uses charcoal, pencil, ink, and digital techniques to create soft digital renderings that emphasize creamy reds and greens, helping this empathetic portrait to blossom. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)