School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-An ideal showcase for Hawkes's artistic abilities. The collection contains three traditional pieces ("Jolly Old Saint Nicholas," "The Friendly Beasts," and "A Visit from St. Nicholas"); an excerpt from The Wind in the Willows; and a story by Albert Bigelow Paine, "Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn." The dense text may be better suited to family sharing than independent reading. Full-color paintings are lush and luminous with lots of clever details. However, with its limited number of selections, this title may not be a first choice for libraries looking for holiday anthologies. Michael Forman's Christmas Treasury (Pavilion, 2000) is a far more comprehensive volume.-T. T. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Hawkes (Handel Who Knew What He Liked, p. 1352, etc.) illustrates this large-format anthology of Christmas stories and poems with his luminous, detail-filled paintings featuring muffler-wrapped field mice, a comical dog in a Santa suit, and a traditional St. Nicholas traveling across a midnight-blue sky. A selection from The Wind in the Willows finds Mole and Rat returning to Mole's house, where they are serenaded by a troop of caroling mice who are then invited in for a delectable holiday feast. "Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn" by Albert Bigelow Paine tells the story of an enterprising dog who plays Santa Claus for his circle of animal friends, and Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" completes the collection with old-fashioned illustrations of a snowy New England village. The Christmas carols included are "Jolly Old St. Nicholas" and "The Friendly Beasts." No new ground is broken in this volume, but Hawkes's illustrations are appealing, especially his costumed animal characters, and readers will be drawn to the attractive cover with the title in raised golden letters. (Picture book. 5-8)
From the Publisher
Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library for School Library Journal
"The Christmas poem gets a bold yet classic new look with Wormell’s stunning linoleum-block print illustrations. For the most part, the text, in fanciful font, is on the verso and a print, often outlined in black and drenched in deep blues, reds, and blacks, is on the right; there are also several spreads. The effect is somewhat retro, evoking magazine illustrations from the ’20s and ’30s, yet also modern in its impeccable design. Children and adults alike will appreciate this stylish version"