A gnome works with three forest critters to gather some DIY Christmas ornaments.
Pip, a pale-skinned gnome, has an apple; a European robin provides “soft woollen thread”; a rabbit brings “golden straw”; and a mouse retrieves a rosehip from its mouse hole. Pip realizes that their pine tree needs one last thing and fetches a candle from his house. Kwant’s art is the star of this simple story. Rendered in what looks to be soft colored pencil or oil pastels, the scenes beautifully evoke the playful joy of decorating a tree. Pip is especially endearing, with his apple-doll face, Santa-red hat, and apple-green suit. Not knowing the average height of gnomes, toddlers may be confused by the scale of this book. The apple appears to be the size of a pumpkin, the tree is a hand taller than Pip, and the rabbit is only a head taller than the mouse.
Despite the book’s treatment of relative size, it is a lovely Christmas tale focusing on the simple joys of the season; the holiday’s commercial aspects are refreshingly absent. (Board book. 2-3)