The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
This is a sweet Christmas picture book that celebrates the spirit of giving. While watching Santa fly by in his sleigh on Christmas Eve, four animal friends – Rabbit, Bird, Squirrel, and Deer – see a gift fall from the sleigh and land in the snow. When Santa doesn’t return for the gift, the friends decide they must deliver it themselves. It is for the baby of the farmer and his wife and the family would be so disappointed otherwise. Grouchy Squirrel doesn’t want to deliver the gift – after all, it isn’t his baby and he isn’t Santa. But optimistic Rabbit changes his mind and together, the four animals build a sleigh out of materials they find in the forest to haul the gift to the farmer’s house. It is a difficult task, as they have to go uphill and they are all tired and hungry, but they persevere. Seeing the baby happy makes them happy. Once they get home, they find another present in the snow. This one is a gift for them from Santa, thanking them for helping him – a huge cake made out of their favorite ingredients! Just right for the hungry animals after their journey. With lovely illustrations that show the forest covered in snow and deep blue skies followed by the orange of dawn that add to the magical atmosphere of the book.