Anyone already familiar with the Geronimo Stilton series will welcome this new holiday addition and those who have not yet met this "learned and brainy mouse, editor of The Rodent's Gazette" should rush right out and grab a handful of these delightful stories for early chapter readers. To facilitate the emergent reader, every page is illustrated with colorful cartoons and lots of different fonts, type sizes, and "little clues" to help the story along. The expressions on the mice faces are priceless and it is obvious that the author and illustrator have had a lot of fun creating these engaging stories. In this tale, Geronimo has been planning an elaborate Christmas party for his friends and relatives but discovers that none of them will be able to attend. Their excuses are very amusing and some children will guess early on that they intend to surprise Geronimo. Others will be as thrilled as Geronimo himself when they are already at his house as he returns home from a walk around the mouse town. The real strength of this story is that while on his walk (feeling sorry for himselfno one to share Christmas with) he meets a variety of mice who are in need of a friend. He invites each of them to share his Christmas dinner, which makes him feel very pleased with how his day will turn out after all. The surprise is on everyone as they tell Geronimo that being together is the best part of the celebration. The book includes suggestions for thoughtful gifts for family and friends as well as a pull-out panel with recipes and a real "mouse-o-mania" game to play. 2005, Scholastic, Ages 6 to 9.