Cindy: Slipper the cat is curious about a nighttime visitor to her house, Mr. Furry Boots, who has nice, soft ankles to rub and an inviting red bag to climb inside. Before you know it, Slipper is on her way to the North Pole, where Ms. Furry Boots “lets the cat out of the bag.” Slipper has fun exploring Santa’s workshop and meeting new friends, but soon she misses home. Luckily, Santa has only one last delivery to make.
Stowaway in a Sleigh (2016) by C. Roger Mader is a quiet story, beautifully illustrated in rich pastels. It’s a perfect holiday gift for young readers who wouldn’t mind stowing away on Santa’s sleigh for a Christmas adventure. The book trailer above introduces you to the real life Slipper who inspired this story, and who was first seen in Lost Cat (2013).
Lynn: I love the sweet story of Slipper and Mader’s lovely, traditional illustrations. The stowaway element reminded me of another, older picture book with a creature hitching a ride on Santa’s sleigh. Wombat, the hilarious star of several Jackie French picture books, brings her special charms to the holiday in Christmas Wombat (2011).
Wombat has a fairly straightforward approach to life in general: sleep, scratch, dig, and eat carrots. Naturally, when Wombat spies carrots left out for Santa’s reindeer, she assumes they are hers. After an exhausting stare-down with a reindeer, Wombat curls up on Santa’s sleigh to nap, and ends up sharing Santa’s busy night—and happily eats all the carrots set out for Donner and Blitzen. French’s deadpan prose compliments images of illustrator Bruce Whatley’s rotund wombat waddling determinedly across a white background.