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It's 1909 in a New Hampshire farming town. Lucy (Hall's mother) has just seen the first changing leaf and figures it's time to start preparing for Christmas (much as retailers would like us to behave today, but then Lucy had to make all her presents). Her folks are also busy getting ready for winter, poring over the new Sears Roebuck catalogue for a kitchen stove. They decide on a Glenwood Kitchen Range -- ""Queen of the Kitchen."" The stove arrives only days before St. Nick and is greeted with no less enthusiasm. The church Christmas program is afoot, though, so the girls pry themselves from in front of the warm stove and get back to assembling chains of bright paper and bags of popcorn and ribbon candy to put under the church tree. On Christmas day, the family sleighs to church, where hymns are sung, poetry recited, short plays enacted, and a host of presents unwrapped. Hall's (I Am the Dog, I Am the Cat, p. 1129, etc.) poetic touch is found all over the book, and McCurdy's woodcut accompaniments spin the reader back 80 years: You can smell the kerosene from the lamps, sense the deepness of the woods. You just know how the Glenwood will be put to use once the sap starts running. A winner.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0594014549
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace