A bear, a moose, and a beaver walk into the woods.
This holiday title features an anthropomorphic trio of quintessentially Canadian animals, humorously rendered in digital art with a flat, cartoon aesthetic. But although the bear, moose, and beaver are associated with the same place, and although they all celebrate Christmas in this story, conflict arises because one friend is decidedly not like the others: The bear is a literal and figurative tree-hugger, and when the moose and beaver attempt to chop down the perfect Christmas tree, he stops them. (Why he didn’t realize this was their plan when they went into the forest is an unresolved question). “The moose and the beaver were no match for the bear’s strength,” reads the straightforward text, which is accompanied by a picture of the bear hurling both animals over the tree handily. He then ties them to the trunk in an act that could be read as humorous but that also might make readers wonder why he values the tree over his friends. Ultimately, the bear does try to salvage their planned Christmas celebration by bringing decorations, food, and gifts from their house into the woods. He unties his friends, and they celebrate Christmas around the perfect tree, still standing in the woods.
A beary green Christmas book. (Picture book. 3-6)