cover image A Christmas Guest

A Christmas Guest

David LaRochelle. Lerner Publishing Group, $18.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-87614-325-4

``Entertaining angels unaware'' is the theme of this Christmas offering. The story, set to verse, tells of a boy and his mother who are visited on Christmas Eve by an elderly lady who has obviously seen better days. The two invite her in and stoke the fire so the unfortunate woman can warm her nearly frozen hands and feet. The boy makes a mug of hot chocolate for the stranger and implores her to stay when she insists on going back into the storm again. As a final gesture of kindness the boy takes his favorite red scarf and gives it to the woman for warmth. The boy runs to the window to behold an angel in a blaze of golden light, wearing a scarlet scarf. On his bed is a tiny golden angel ornament. The content of the tale, that of a Christmas miracle, is uplifting, but occasionally the verse is poorly timed, interrupting the flow of the story. Pastel drawings with multi-patterned borders imbue the book with warmth and holiday appeal. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)