MERRY CHRISTMAS, ERNEST AND CELESTINE by Gabrielle Vincent

MERRY CHRISTMAS, ERNEST AND CELESTINE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

No money for a Christmas party? ""But we don't need money for a party, Ernest."" Ernest the bear and Celestine the child-mouse are trudging through the park in a blizzard when she begins her cajolery; many hugs, outstretched arms, and reproaches later (""But you promised. . .""), the two are off to the woods to fetch a tree--the start of the transformation of their garret-like quarters (""See, Ernest, I told you you could draw"") into a festive party-setting. From a garbage can comes, as well, a red blanket and a white cloth that Ernest fashions, while Celestine sleeps, into a Santa suit and a party frock. And though cousin Max scoffs, ""the great party"" is a great success--with Ernest appearing midway as Santa, then revealing himself to the forlorn Celestine (""I can't find Ernest""); and with fiddling and dancing and storytelling. . . until the trimmings are in tatters and all the mouse-children are sleepily scattered about the floor. The departures taken (""I'm sorry I was mean,"" says Max), Ernest and Celestine congratulate themselves; then he tucks her into her mattress-bed, presents ready for the morning. Buoyant and poignant, as before--with the perennial appeal of Christmas from scraps, the extra attraction of Ernest's parallel transformation from self-doubter to Santa.

Pub Date: Sept. 17th, 1984
Publisher: Greenwillow