cover image The Animals’ Santa

The Animals’ Santa

Jan Brett. Putnam, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25784-1

As she did in 1996’s The Mitten, Brett evokes a wintry landscape filled with animals, distinguished by her signature level of meticulous detail. On his first Christmas Eve, Little Snow, a rabbit in a North Canadian forest, voices skepticism about the existence of the “animals’ Santa.” After all, no other animals have seen him or spotted his tracks in the snow. Even Little Snow’s friends’ descriptions of gifts Santa has left for them don’t persuade Little Snow, who complains, “I think you are fooling me.” As the animals speculate on Santa’s identity, lemming “elves” are busy in sidebar panels, making birch bark drums, pinecone animals, and other gifts. Native American artwork created with porcupine quills inspired the distinctive patterns that frame these border scenes. The dramatic arrival of Santa—an exquisite snowy owl—is well worth the wait. Ages 3–5. [em](Oct.) [/em]