Not a story but a series of cunning, ""exquisite"" views of the forest rodents preparing for and then enjoying Mrs. Rabbit's Christmas party. Holm dresses the animals in period (Edwardian?) finery (which, however, doesn't conceal their truly nasty tails) and models their elegant home furnishings on her own collection of antique miniatures. But from that early cozy scene in the Oak Tree with little squirrel napping under a quilt while his mother, wearing a crown of candles (quite unsuitable for a matron), brings him buns and chocolate. . . to the stagy arrival of fancy, beady-eyed Mrs. Rat. . . to the simpering auntie type reading the Christmas story--it reeks of that peculiar, sophisticated pseudonostalgia that is misplaced in a book for small children.