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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke. Greenwillow, Harper Canada. $18.99 ages 3 and up

"So Fletcher, Squirrel, the birds, and the mice
finished the trail to the rabbits' new home, which
was cozy and warm and sweet with the smell of
blackberry pie. They gathered around the crackling
fire, thawing out their icy noses, nibbling pieces of
pie, and singing Christmas songs."

In this story of love and friendship, Fletcher finds himself worrying that Santa will not discover the rabbits' new burrow. In an effort to make sure that his friends are not forgotten on this glorious Christmas Eve, Fletcher creates an arrowed path to the new home. As he makes his way toward the burrow, other forest friends come to his aid and soon they are all on the rabbits' doorstep. After an evening of song, food and fellowship, the animals head for home to snuggle in and provide welcome for Santa. It is as they emerge into a snow-covered wonderland that they realize the path has been covered in sparkling splendor. They each promise to stay awake and tell Santa about the move.

As luck would have it, none can keep that promise. When they waken in the morning to find Santa has made his visit they hurry to the burrow, only to see there was no need for worry. The presents are delivered, the new burrow provides warmth and welcome for all and the day is spent as it should be....with thankful appreciation for the good things in life.

Fletcher is a character that young listeners will have an affinity for...he delights in those same things that they do. In the previous two books, Fletcher makes discoveries about the changing seasons, with humor and candor. The pastel artwork created on textured papers add a three-dimensional feel to the action...soft and gentle as the story itself. There is much to see here...the hints that snow is on its way, the gentle depth of the first real snowfall and the embossed golden star and candles on the Christmas tree.

Sharing Christmas with Fletcher and Friends is quite the treat!

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