Christmas at Stony Creek

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Overview

The pond at Stony Creek is perfect for ice skating, and a blanket of snow is on the ground. It's almost Christmas. Pipsqueak wishes she could spend the days at the pond, then curl up in front of a glowing fire with her family.

But Papa has gone away to search for food. He promised to be home soon, so by Christmas Eve, Pip is worried. What will they eat for Christmas dinner? How can they celebrate without Papa?

Pip knows she must do something. ...

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Overview

The pond at Stony Creek is perfect for ice skating, and a blanket of snow is on the ground. It's almost Christmas. Pipsqueak wishes she could spend the days at the pond, then curl up in front of a glowing fire with her family.

But Papa has gone away to search for food. He promised to be home soon, so by Christmas Eve, Pip is worried. What will they eat for Christmas dinner? How can they celebrate without Papa?

Pip knows she must do something. There are mountains of food in the huge house on the hill. The one filled with cats and traps. The most dangerous place in Stony Creek. Mama has forbidden everyone from even mentioning the house. Pip's not sure she has the courage to go there, but she has to try. She has to do it for Mama, Kit, Will, Nibs, Nan, and baby Finny. For Christmas. And for Papa.

Braveness starts with a single step.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 1-3-It's Christmas time and the winter has been a harsh one for the Mouse family. With food scarce, Papa goes off to forage and is gone far longer than expected. Pip, the story's tiny and thoughtful heroine, bravely faces many dangers to ensure that the family has a feast for Christmas. All ends happily in this gentle, heartwarming chapter book for beginning readers. The characters are well developed, dialogue flows smoothly, and the plot is sustained by plenty of action and suspense. Thematic stress is on the importance of optimism, creative problem solving, and family togetherness. Sheban's detailed black-and-white pencil drawings have an appropriate old-fashioned quality and nicely complement the tale.-Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061214868
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/9/2007
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Greene is the author of many acclaimed books for young people. She lives with her family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

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Read an Excerpt

Christmas at Stony Creek


By Stephanie Greene

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Stephanie Greene
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061214875

Chapter One

Pip, Short for Pipsqueak

They roasted the last chestnut the night Papa left home.

He sat in his chair in front of the fireplace with Nibs and Nan tucked in on either side. Mama knitted in her chair across from him, her foot rocking Baby Finny asleep in the cradle.

The three older children sprawled on the floor. The glow of the fire flickered over their faces. Will, with his injured leg, stared silently into the flames. Kit lay beside him, whittling his newest carving.

Pip was the one with her head in a book.

Pip was always the one with her head in a book.

"Better look sharp, Pip," Papa warned in his deep voice as he cracked the warm chestnut open, "or the greedy beggars you call your brothers and sisters won't leave you a crumb."

"When is a mouse a bookworm?" said Kit. "When her name is Pip."

"Pip's a worm. Pip's a worm," chanted Nibs and Nan, and giggled.

Pip looked up at her father and smiled. He was the one who had named her Pip, short for Pipsqueak, when she was born.

"You were so small we made a nest for you in a teacup," he told her, again and again because she never got tired of hearing it. "We thought we had lost you until we heard a tinysqueak and saw two huge brown eyes looking up at us."

Pip was still small. She was quiet, too. It used to be that she was sometimes lonely in the midst of her boisterous family. She felt as if no one saw, or heard, her. Then, one day, Papa said, "You may not speak in a big voice, Pip, but I hear you, loud and clear."

Pip never felt lonely again.

"It's all right," she told him now. "I don't like chestnuts that much."

Papa knew she didn't mean it. Everyone in the family loved the dense meat of the glossy nuts. They were a special treat. But there had been so few of them this winter. So little food of any kind.

Pip would be glad to give her share to Will if it would help bring his old smile back.

"Nonsense," Papa said. He held the shell with the meat cut into equal pieces out to her. "There's plenty to go around."

Pip took a morsel and held it up to her nose. The rich smell made her empty stomach grumble. She tucked it into her pocket for later.

Papa looked around at his family, his kind face wreathed in a reassuring smile. "I'll be home in two days with more food than you've ever seen," he said. "Three days at the most. We'll have a Christmas feast. Invite everyone we know."

"Hip, hip, hooray!" squealed Nibs and Nan.

Papa tickled them, making them shriek with delight. Then Mama took them off to bed. Soon it was Pip's bedtime, too.

"Your brother may need your help finding food while I'm gone," Papa said as he tucked the blankets snugly around her. "This snow is giving his leg a devil of a time."

I can't! Pip wanted to cry. You have to be strong and brave to find food! I'm afraid!

She longed to ask Papa about the spots of blood she had seen dotting his paws when he came home from digging for food in the deep snow that had covered the woods for weeks.

And about the stories she had heard of the hungry animals roaming through the trees, stealing any food you were lucky enough to find.

The look she saw in her father's eyes stopped her.

"Don't worry, Papa," she said. She patted his huge paw with her tiny one. "If Will can't do it, I can."

"I know you can, my girl," Papa said. He kissed her and stood up. "You can do anything in the world."

Pip clutched at a corner of his jacket. Papa was like a tall and gentle giant. Her very own gentle giant, who kept her safe.

"Three days at the most?" she asked.

"Three days at the most," he promised.



Continues...

Excerpted from Christmas at Stony Creek by Stephanie Greene Copyright © 2007 by Stephanie Greene. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2012

    Such a darling, darling story

    This is a family bookshelf must have. It is sweet, charming, and entertaining, and perfect for the holiday time. I loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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