Wintz-Litty's watercolors, with their intimate nighttime village scenes and wild landscapes, are splendidly bleak as poor Lumina's sad story unfolds: She is parentless, homeless, hungry, and shunned by her countryfolk--""Go away, little beggar girl!""--as the snowballs rain down on her head. She has the clothes on her back and from her mother, a lantern, but it--the sum total of her security and warmth--is cruelly extinguished by a gust of wind. A pack of wolves menace her, an old owl provides guidance, and suddenly Lumina spies a light in the distance. She is invited home for Christmas Eve supper and is taken into a family's warm embrace as a new member of the household. After so many pages of pure agony, readers will be dazed by and suspicious of this particular turn of events--at least The Little Match Girl delivers a good cry.