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Author: Cynthia Rylant

Illustrator: Tim Bowers

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Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & Company,

Material: hard cover

Summary: It's Christmas in Toytown, and the toys realize they don't know who made them. They write a note to Santa, asking if he made them. On Christmas Eve night, a special package arrives in the store, and they have their answer. This is a story that has all the innocence and magic you want in a Christmas tale.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 2 to 7

Reading Level: 3.1

Age of Child: Started reading with child 2 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: Unlike the INSTANT love for Little Whistle, this one took a couple of readings.

Adult Reader Reaction: This was our instant holiday favorite. The story is sweet without being sappy or over the top. Like the original Little Whistle, it's about friendship, love and sharing.

Pros: The simplicity and beauty of the tale are unmatched.

Cons: It may have been too wordy for this year (2003).

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This book is too wonderful not to have on hand.


Educational Themes: You can talk about love, the spirit of Christmas and all its magic from a variety of perspectives. With the emphasis on "where did we come from," there's an opportunity to talk about the reason for Christmas, as well.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book series, animal characters, Christmas, fantasy

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2003

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