Karen Katz, . . S&S/McElderry, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-84925-1

Katz (Counting Kisses) has got kids' number in this sweet counting book that taps into the air of anticipation on Christmas Eve. Three children and their parents prepare for a celebration with all the fixin's—10 lights, nine presents, eight cookies for Santa, etc., which help add up to "one magical day for families and children to share." A mix of collage, gouache and colored pencil creates a kaleidoscope of hues and patterns. With their large heads and minimalist features, Katz's rosy-cheeked, smiling figures have the appealing semblance of sweet-faced baby dolls. Ages 3-6. (Oct.)

FYI:Katz brings the same cheerful illustrative style to My First Kwanzaa, a picture-book introduction to the seven principles celebrated during the weeklong festival of African heritage (Holt, $14.95 ages 2-5 ISBN 0-8050-7077-X; Nov.).