Woodland animals out for a walk find a surprise hidden in the snow.
Three rabbits, Kip, Wally, and Agnes, and their friends Bella and Bob, twin mice with a habit of speaking together, debate whether Kip heard someone whisper that it was lost. Readers are brought right into the action with the opening words “ ‘I am not making it up,’ said Kip” in this story told completely through dialogue. The friends dig through snow to find a “freezy-frozen” teddy bear. They very sensibly take him in a wagon to the home of a real-life bear named Arthur, overcoming his grumpiness with a jar of honey. Arthur tries to help them with their “ ‘we-don’t-know-what-to-do’ question.” The wise Arthur recognizes that, sadly, “on the day before Christmas, a child is without his or her beloved bear.” They do their best to patch up the disheveled teddy bear with a button eye, a green sweater, and a red ribbon. Enlisting the help of their bird friends, they find the girl who lost her teddy. From cheery endpapers strewn with colorful berries to delicately painted woodland scenes, this book is gorgeously designed. Images of animals, trees, and homey items wind their ways in and out of insets, resembling the views framed by the window the girl (light-skinned, with straight, brown hair) looks out.
Fans of Beatrix Potter will love this enchanting Christmas tale. (Picture book. 3-7)