Written by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Renata Liwska
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012
Christmas is a quiet time.
Mysterious bundles quiet.
The plot in a nutshell: A variety of animals experience all the ways that Christmas can be quiet.
All the animals in this book are enjoying Christmas, particularly the moments during the holidays where things quiet down. Moments like searching for where your parents hid your presents and standing by the radio, hoping to hear your school listed in the school closings for snow days and forgetting your lines in the school Christmas play are just a few of the experiences illustrated in this book, leading up to the calm before the storm quiet of Christmas morning.
What better way to close out the busy bustle of Christmas than with a book that reminds us of its quieter side. Author Deborah Underwood intersperses the warm sentimental moments with a few funny and unexpected ones; making us only imagine the kind of quiet that would go along with ‘Aunt Tillie’s pickle and banana stuffing.’ Illustrator Renata Liwska populates the book with anthropomorphic woodland animals, drawn in pencil and colored digitally. Everything about the artwork conveys a softness that brings more calm and quiet into the text. This would make a wonderful bedtime book during the holidays.
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that there are moments of peace during the busy holiday season and they are worth appreciating.