This personable adaptation of Vladimir Suteev's The Conifer from Arnold (Meow!, p. 492, etc.) definitely has the air of an early animated film, with the same endearing (and faintly menacing) gawkiness. It features the lovable, flappable Snowwoman, a popular Russian folklore character, with button eyes, a carrot nose, and a bucket for a hat. Snowwoman has been consigned a letter from the local children to be taken to the North Pole, to Santa Claus, asking for a tree. To deliver the letter, Snowwoman must brave the deep dark woods. After a couple of near misses, and with the help of squirrels and rabbits and a bear and a magpie, she makes good. Santa almost turns her down--he is busy with Christmas Eve--but relents when he learns of Snowwoman's heroic efforts to reach him in time. Everything here is obligingly clunky and stop-start, from the story line and broadly outlined, comic woodcut-like artwork, to the pages with a succession of illustrations that mark an increase in the story's tempo.