cover image A Little Women Christmas

A Little Women Christmas

Heather Vogel Frederick, illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1359-7

A cozy Christmas with the March clan is on tap in this picture book adapted from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Using accessible but not overly contemporary language (and retaining some of Alcott’s phrasings), Frederick turns a holiday-centric episode from the novel into a standalone story brimming with warmth. Admirers of the original will still find much to love, as the characters’ personalities and the basic plotlines remain true. Ibatoulline’s gouache portraits of family life, often awash in the glow of candlelight, are steeped in 19th-century detail, from the modest dresses and carefully set dinner table to a crackling orange-red fire in the fireplace. Outdoor scenes of the March house and its snowy environs are as crisp and clear as a snap of winter air. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Nancy Gallt, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Sept.)