cover image A CHRISTMAS WISH


Marcus Sedgwick, , illus. by Simon Bartram. . Dutton, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47195-0

Clever book design and witty, accomplished illustrations shore up a wisp of a plot as Sedgwick's (The Dark Horse) minimal text introduces a boy who lives in a warm, sunny region and fervently wishes "it would snow like it does in my snow globe." Bartram (Pinocchio) whips up a magical, surreally anthropomorphic blizzard in his acrylics: the storm, personified by a wiry, spike-coiffed snowman (Frosty's punk-rock alter ego?), blows in some polar bears on skateboards, ice skaters and other wintry characters. It's the strategic use of translucent overlays that takes the cake, however, helping turn the boy's verdant lakeside yard into a showcase for a white Christmas like no other. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)