In this Scottish import, a little girl named Catriona and her cat, Mac, celebrate Christmas together at home in Edinburgh, with Catriona learning an important lesson about Christmas gifts.
On Christmas Eve, the girl follows the cat into her parents’ bedroom (off-limits during Christmas), where she finds her unwrapped Christmas presents. She slips one of her gifts, a star-shaped ring, on her finger and then leaves with the family to pick out their Christmas tree. By the time the tree is in the house, the ring has vanished. Catriona and Mac spend hours searching for the ring inside and out. Mac finally climbs up the decorated tree to retrieve the star ring that is stuck near the very top, knocking over the tree in the process, and a contrite Catriona promises her mother she will never peek at her gifts again. There are several British expressions in the text: Mum, mince pies, fairy lights and tea instead of dinner, but the overall story and Catriona’s dilemma work as well in the States as in Great Britain. Soft-focus watercolor illustrations match the old-fashioned flavor of the story, which concludes with the star-struck cat spying a special, bright star outside Catriona’s window on Christmas Eve.
Cheerful and cozy. (Picture book.4-7)