Finding ChristmasThe slightly eerie atmosphere created by Wayne Anderson’s illustrations add a delightful tension to Helen Ward’s picture book Finding Christmas. The little girl in a bright red coat and bright green boots is the only bright note in the somber snow clad town as she wanders at dusk from shop to shop. She is looking for “the perfect present to give to someone special.” Things look hopeless until she is drawn to the bright window of a toy shop filled with colorful toys.
However, the people in the shop are so busy loading toys in a sack for another customer (who could that man with a beard be?) that they have no time for her. When they do have time, there are no toys left. When the little girl walks out into the snow, she hears a bell and when she looks up, she sees the perfect present floating down, a stuffed bear for her baby brother’s first Christmas. (Dutton Children’s Books, A Division of Penguin Young Readers Group, 2004. ISBN: 9780525473008)