cover image Christmas Present

Christmas Present

Jan Wahl, Michael McCurdy. Creative Company, $25.7 (64pp) ISBN 978-1-56846-165-6

Creamy paper stock forms an elegant backdrop for McCurdy's darkly atmospheric woodcuts in this tale of a homeless man and his son. With their delicate crosshatching and strong linear element, the black-and-white illustrations give heft to the book's small, 5x7 format. Rag Man Henry and his boy, Buster, spend their days on the streets and their nights in a shelter, making the occasional trip to ""go see Mom"" at her grave. When winter sets in, life grows a little harder, but at Christmas, their aid to a wounded spaniel brings them an unexpected present: hope for the future. Wahl's prose has a staccato style, but the themes and treatment are thickly sentimental. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)