Peef the Christmas Bear

Tom Hegg, Author, Warren Hanson, Illustrator Waldman House Press $16.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-931674-26-6

This treacly holiday tale from the creators of A Cup of Christmas Tea tries hard to push all the right buttons, but might not manage to elicit more than a yawn. With a little help from the elves, Santa stitches up a new toy: ``A scrap of blue... a seam of pink... some green, some red, some brown.../ Why, every color that there was was running up and down/ The front and sides and underneath of what was forming there-/ A Santa-hand-made masterpiece... a brand new Christmas bear!'' The patchwork bear yearns to belong to a child, but Santa is reluctant to part with him; readers who wade through the dense thickets of overwrought verse will not be surprised by the inevitable moment of sacrifice. Full of fervid purples, the artwork matches the text in its triteness. All ages. 50,000-copy first printing. (Nov.)