cover image A Very Hairy Christmas

A Very Hairy Christmas

Susan Lowell, illus. by Jim Harris. Rio Nuevo/Rio Chico (Treasure Chest, dist.), $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-933855-80-6

This holiday offering brings back the stars of The Three Little Javelinas, in which a coyote plays Big Bad Wolf to a trio of piglike Southwestern creatures. On Christmas Eve, the coyote disguises himself as Santa and descends into the javelinas’ adobe house via the woodstove. As he hungrily chases them, chaos ensues; Josefina javelina, an aspiring “Sugar Plum Hairy,” saves the day with her ballet skills. Lowell’s exaggerated (if sometimes corny) narrative should make for lively readalouds (“Hee! Ha! Ho! Holy jalapeños!” shouts the coyote after sampling some chile-infused gingerbread cookies), and Harris’s rollicking cartoons are loaded with visual gags and the antics of mice and caroling crickets. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)