WILLOW AT CHRISTMAS by Camilla Ashforth


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 5
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This third story from Ashforth about Willow the teddy bear (Willow on the River; Willow by the Sea, p. 642) details a snowy, old-fashioned holiday season at Paradise Farm, which must surely be located somewhere near the Hundred Acre Wood. Like that other famous bear, Willow has a pig pal, aptly named Little Pink Pig, and together they wrap presents, bake, decorate, and find a tree in the snow-covered woods. Other bear friends call in for tea and cakes around the Christmas tree in a particularly cozy spread suffused with candlelight, with all the animals happy to “celebrate Christmas and friendship by the fire at Paradise Farm.” Willow and Little Pink Pig deliver presents to their farm-animal friends and then spend Christmas morning together, opening their Christmas stockings from Santa Claus and admiring the farm animals wearing their new Christmas gifts of hats, scarves, capes, and blankets. Ashforth’s soft, snow-speckled watercolors are charming without being syrupy, with many details of a British celebration: Christmas crackers, plum pudding, and stockings hung from the bedpost on Christmas Eve. Her lyrical story is calm and simple, with Willow leading the way (at least in his corner of Paradise) to peace on earth, good will to bears. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-1850-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2002