Lezlie Evans, illus. by Yee Von Chan. Albert Whitman, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-2433-6
Hare, Squirrel, and Mouse are busy making Christmas preparations in the Little Burrow where they live together: “Hare sang as he decorated the tree, Squirrel sprinkled sugar on the hazelnut cookies.” When Mouse sneaks out to get a last-minute present for Hare, she finds sickly Swallow alone in the cold. Mouse and her friends bring Swallow home and work to revive her. One by one, the animals encourage each other to open their gifts (coneflowers for tea, a warm hat), realizing that “Swallow needs them more.” Evans narrates economically, and Chan’s muted palette suits the quiet atmosphere of the Little Burrow; with thin dashes for fur, her animals resemble hand-stitched dolls. It’s a tender holiday reminder that generosity means the most when it’s directed at those who are truly in need. Up to age 3. Author’s agent: Christa Heschke, McIntosh & Otis. Illustrator’s agent: Emily Coggins, Astound Illustration. (Oct.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review listed an incorrect agent for the book's illustrator.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017