If Snow Falls: A Story for December
by Jon Agee; illus. by the author
Primary Pantheon 36 pp.
1982 0-394-85520-5 $5.95
Library ed. ISBN 0-394-95520-X $6.99
Calling to mind the individual frames of a film, small richly colored paintings progress sequentially in concert with the lulling rhythm of a brief text. The first page shows a distant snow-covered cottage; with each turn of the page the cottage becomes closer and more distinct, until through the window a sleeping boy is seen. He dreams of an old man who “arrives at a workshop with pots, paints and parrots watching”; pictorial clues hint at the identity of the plump gentleman before he is shown donning his familiar red suit and flying “across snow nobody has stepped in” to the little boy’s house. The cheerful, compact illustrations work with the poetic text to create a book evoking a mood of Christmas magic. KATE M. FLANAGAN