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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Nature is full of miracles. The way the seasons come and go and the animals set about the business of living their lives to full capacity. There is a place where more miracles can and do happen, a place full of magic and the infinite realm of possibilities. It’s a place called Crab Lake. Jeannie often visits there in the summer, but this year she’s visiting in the winter, just before Christmas. The animals are all excited because they have watched an adored Jeannie in the summer months. Now they will see her in winter. And, best yet, they’ll really be able to visit with her and talk to her. Because, that’s the magic of winter: when animals can and do talk to humans.
David Mulford’s picture book story, Jeannie’s Crab Lake Christmas, is full of magic and charm. The endearing qualities of each of the forest creatures are eloquently described as the excitement over Jeannie’s coming visit mounts. Even the bears who, as everyone knows, sleep through the winter months, are awakened just for this visit. The illustrations by Christine Cathers Donohue bring life and warmth to the story, which is full of fun and adventure. The animals, introduced one at a time, move the story’s plot along with great excitement as the news of Jeannie’s upcoming visit spreads through the forest community.
This is a great story to share as a family, because it’s all about families: both animal and human families. It’s also about communities, living and working together – communities that include both humans and animals. And it’s all about caring for one another. For there’s much more to this story than just the beautiful Jeannie whom the animals adore. A beautiful story, beautifully told.