cover image The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story

Kallie George, illus. by Stephanie Graegin. Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-553-52481-9

After Santa drops a package in the woods, a quartet of animals attempts to deliver the gift to its proper destination, in a tender story set in a hushed forest. George (Duck, Duck, Dinosaur) succinctly sketches personalities for her heroes—Rabbit is the exuberant optimist, Bird gets things done, Deer helps cheerfully, and Squirrel is a kvetch. There are some hiccups on their way to a nearby farmhouse, but it’s all worth it when they see the New Baby open her gift from Santa, a rattle. (Or, as Squirrel puts it, “a noisy, lumpy stick.”) Graegin (How to Share with a Bear) creates sweeping expanses of moonlit snow for the animals to traverse under midnight blue Christmas Eve skies, creating an atmosphere of quiet magic as the animals discover the rewards of doing a kind deed. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Oct.)