The guileless Mr. Merriweather puts a string of lights around his window; when he is mocked by his neighbor, whose own house is covered with lights, Mr. Merriweather adds more decorations and within days has a display that people in three counties come visit. The neighbors, increasingly annoyed by the traffic and other inconveniences, trash the decorations. The story in the illustrations is incomparably richer and more entertaining than the text, which is framed by light displays that grow more ornate as the book progresses. Rarely do pictures have so much narrative in them. The expressive angles from which the action is seen, the positioning of personality-laden figures, and the vivid plasticity that Shannon (How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball, 1994) gives everything, even atmospheric effects (a face seen through a fogged-up window, breath steaming in the cold air), are startling.