cover image The True Gift: A Christmas Story

The True Gift: A Christmas Story

Patricia MacLachlan, , illus. by Brian Floca. . S&S/Atheneum, $12.99 (81pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-9081-9

In this sweetly engaging chapter book, two siblings visit their grandparents' farm for Christmas. Liam, an especially sensitive bibliophile (he takes 37 books along), notices “White Cow” standing all alone in their field and worries she's lonely. While initially reluctant, narrator Lily goes along with Liam's plan to buy a cow friend for White Cow; as they pool their money, Liam posts signs asking for help from the community and sells his books. With MacLachlan's well-drawn characters and Floca's simple pencil and graphite drawings, it's a poignant story with a classic feel. Ages 7–up. (Oct.)