CHRISTMAS AT MUD FLAT by James Stevenson


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Age Range: 5 - 8
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Stevenson (The Most Amazing Dinosaur, p. 640, etc.) returns to Mud Flat, there to measure the doings and take the eccentric pulse of that homey burg and its population of guileless animals. Here, nine quick, intertwined stories follow Vernon and Roy, Moira and Enid, Clem and Doak and others as they noodle about preparing for Christmas: gift gathering, getting ready for the party, keeping an eye skinned for Santa. Stevenson paints a world of artless magic in which the citizens are just oddfellow enough to keep things interesting, while also agents of unaffected good. They are the kind of folk to whom “strange and wonderful things happen on Christmas, like cookies in the snow,” and readers are only too happy for them. And late in the story, after the party has wound down and the animals have returned to their homes, when the sounds of chimes are distantly heard, it sends a shiver up readers’ spines, then a warm suffusion of bien-être, when it is learned that Freddie the fix-it goose has bedecked the tree next to the town pond with bottle caps and tin cans and nails and screws, all tinkling in the wind and glinting in the moonlight, before he headed south on Christmas Eve. (Fiction. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-17301-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2000


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