cover image The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present

The Biggest Smallest Christmas Present

Harriet Muncaster. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-16432-3

Essentially a modern-day Thumbelina, Clementine sleeps in a matchbox, bathes in a teacup, and fits neatly in the palm of her mother’s hand. Unfortunately, Santa doesn’t realize that she isn’t an “average-sized” girl: her presents, including a puppy and a paint set, are always much bigger than she is. This year, to clue Santa in, Clementine and her family leave photographs of her with her previous Christmas gifts—such as using xylophone mallets as stilts and balancing on her puppy’s nose. Finally, Santa gets it right, giving Clementine a dollhouse that’s just her size. At the heart of Muncaster’s story is a subtle message about gently but firmly letting one’s needs be known, but many readers will be happy just to pore over the delightful images of Clementine making the most of a very large world. Ages 3–5. Agent: Jodie Hodges, United Agents. (Oct.)