Mr. Grumps's ""down-in-the-dumps"" approach to the Christmas holiday leads to the disappearance of Lyle's favorite feline friend in this reassuring tale about the love of family and friends. When Loretta, the cat, disappears, the Primm family at East 88th and Mr. Grumps know exactly what they want for Christmas--her safe return. Prunella, the Cat Lady, takes Loretta in; an out-of-work actor, Hector, happens to know both the Primms and Prunella and provides the means (and requisite misunderstandings) to a happy resolution. Waber (Bearsie Bear and the Surprise Sleepover Party, 1997, etc.) demonstrates again an uncanny ability to convey a multitude of emotions in a few strokes, giving each character in the Primm household a distinct personality. Especially charming are the scenes of Lyle engaged in the household chores of washing dishes, making the beds, scrubbing, dusting, sweeping, and waxing. Fans of the big green crocodile will welcome this holiday adventure.