Published by Greenwillow Books
Summary: Lucy the bird finds her friend Thomas the bear hunting all over for some missing dried fruit that he wants to use to make a wintercake for the Winter’s Eve celebration. Later, Lucy gets stranded at a cafe during a blizzard and overhears another animal (maybe a weasel?) talking about a basket of dried fruit he found that morning. Lucy is sure he’s up to no good, and follows him when he leaves. Much to her surprise, he goes to Thomas’s place and returns the fruit. The two friends are so surprised and impressed that, after they make the wintercake, they decide to follow his tracks to find where he lives. It turns out to be an arduous journey, but they finally find his den and celebrate the holiday together. A friendship is born, as well as a holiday tradition that carries on for many years to come. 48 pages; grades K-4.
Pros: The talented Lynne Rae Perkins has both written and illustrated an engaging story perfect for a long winter’s evening. The vocabulary (“bereft”, “forlorn”, “melancholy”) shows a respect for young readers’ intelligence, and the illustrations are adorable. A perfect non-Christmas holiday tale for December.
Cons: I was initially a little put off by the length of this book, but once I started, I found the story so engaging that it went very quickly.