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A Christmas Stocking Story    by Hilary Knight order for
Christmas Stocking Story
by Hilary Knight
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (1963)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

I love the cover, in which an elephant sits back comfortably reading to a circle of friends, including a lion, a hippo, a bug, a stork and a snake, a fish and a fox. Turns out they're neighbours who tell a 'silly Christmas rhyme' together.

When washing does weird things to their stockings, they hang them all up anyway, and Santa does his thing - by candlelight. This has disappointing results, so that 'On Christmas Day / beast, bug, and bird / found each had what / the next preferred.' And they decided to 'fix up / Santa's Christmas / stocking mix-up.' The diamond rings do shine brightly on Snake, and they all eventually love their traded presents.

I enjoy stories in verse and this one is both charming and delightfully illustrated. I especially liked the picture of all the creatures in their different forms of bed, waiting for Santa. Kids anticipating Santa's arrival themselves will empathize with the animals, laugh at the gift mix-up and cheer for its resolution.

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