cover image Koala Christmas

Koala Christmas

Lisa Bassett. Dutton Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-65065-2

Sibling rivalry lives Down Under in the form of Wally and Carrie Koala, who destroy all the family Christmas ornaments in a struggle over who gets to hang what. The brother and sister visit Piper, a colorful lorikeet who informs them that stringing ``special berries'' will produce magic decorations. In their desperation to retrieve the holiday spirit, the koala kids borrow their mother's sewing kit and follow Piper's advice, looping the berries in the branches of the family's tree house. Christmas morning dawns with garlands of lorikeets perched on the berry strands, eating their hearts out--the ``dazzling sight'' of their brilliant plumage providing the most spectacular decorations of all. Together the Bassett sisters have produced a winsome holiday story that focuses on the cooperation that can grow out of competition between sparring branches of the family tree. Vivid details of Australian flora and fauna are an added treat. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)