The stars of a popular early-reader series move on to the picture-book world in this gentle story about finding a Christmas tree.
The two friends explore the wintry countryside together, focusing on trees and meeting noisy birds. Cork the muskrat is the thinker of the two, with “a head full of thoughts.” He offers logical explanations and leadership. Fuzz the possum seems “to have a head full of air,” asking hilarious questions, playing loudly, and generally acting as comic relief. Cork wants to find a good tree to sit under for a spell of thinking to try to figure out why this day is a special one, while Fuzz wants to sing his newly invented holiday song: "Merry, merry, holly, holly, ho-ho-ho!" As darkness falls, the pair find a jingle bell and a snowy evergreen decked with bright lights. They have time to think together about their special friendship before hanging the bell on the tree and singing their merry little tune together. The plot is minimal, and the repetitions of the made-up song are a little tedious, but Fuzz and Cork are both endearing fellows. McCue’s finely detailed watercolor-and-ink illustrations capture the personalities of the two animals as well as the magical atmosphere of the final snowy scene with the glowing Christmas tree.
A quiet, satisfying story about a charming pair of friends celebrating their affectionate bond. (Picture book. 3-5)