In his fourth outing, Maxi the taxi dog (Maxi, the Hero, 1991, etc.) shares Christmas Eve with his cabbie owner, Jim -- trimming the tree, building a snowman (make that snowdog), ice skating, caroling. They find a trash can full of stray kittens in an alley and let them loose at the taxi garage, where cabbies soon adopt each one. This cheerfully homey holiday veers into magical realism at the end, when Santa Claus crash-lands his sleigh on the church steps, then commandeers Jim's yellow cab to finish his flying rounds. The last line caps off the fantasy beautifully, with a touch of genuine magic. The tale is told in gently rollicking six-line stanzas, charming even though the rhymes are occasionally contrived. Illustrations are brightly colored full-page scenes of New York City with the kind of whimsically sly details that'll keep adults amused on the umpteenth reading. This book unapologetically celebrates the Christmas season, bringing old-fashioned joy to a modern Manhattan setting.