Rhyming, four-line stanzas celebrate Christmas in both secular and religious aspects.
A bevy of animals, presumably polar and mostly white with the occasional red scarf or cap, romp in the snow and generally exude Christmas cheer. Snowshoe hares watch a white mouse hang red baubles from an exposed fir bough; a husky family drags a sled out to fetch a tree; harp seals play on the floes. A family of polar bears quaffs hot cocoa inside an igloo; Arctic foxes decorate cookies; penguins (presumably visiting from Antarctica) decorate a snowy tree. Whitlow’s illustrations employ a palette of icy blues, with red and green accents; his soft-focus animals all smile benignly. The frolicking mice that appear in every spread add visual interest. Hall’s quatrains, written with an abab rhyme scheme, are generously punctuated with exclamation marks and are sugar-cookie sweet. The rhyme and meter are occasionally forced and relentlessly singsong, in keeping with the overall tone. God is explicitly part of this celebration, sending snow and cheer as well as the gift of the baby Jesus. Given the religious underpinnings of the book, it’s a pity there is not just a touch more gravitas to balance out the sweetness.
Undemanding and upbeat, this is an adequate offering to share with toddlers in households that want to keep the Christ in Christmas. (Board book. 2-4)