How Does Santa DO It? Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson
IT WAS AN ICE-BRIGHT CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE SKY WAS A DAZZLING BLUE.
EVERY TREE IN THE FOREST WAS FROST-SPRINKLED, AND FROZEN PUDDLES CRACKLED UNDER FLETCHER'S PAWS. HE PADDED DOWN TO THE BURROW BANK WHERE THE RABBITS USED TO LIVE AND BOUNCED OVER THE FALLEN TREES THAT BLOCKED THE OLD FRONT DOOR...
AND HE STOPPED
AND HE LOOKED
AND HE HAD A TERRIBLE THOUGHT...
HOW WAS SANTA CLAUS GOING TO FIND THE RABBITS' NEW HOME?
Then Fletcher the fox has an idea. Quickly recruiting the help of Squirrel and the neighborhood birds and mice, Fletcher uses fallen twigs to shape a path of arrows leading from the old burrow right to the front door of the Rabbits' new home. Fletcher and friends are proud of themselves.
At the Rabbits' front door they catch the delightful scent of hot blackberry pie and the sound of a Christmas Eve party in progress. Invited in, the friends eat pie and join in a carol singalong which lasts into the night.
But unknown to the merrymakers, outside downy flakes begin to fall, and by the time Fletcher steps out to head for his own snug burrow for the night, the ground is covered in several inches of soft snow, and their carefully constructed trail of twig arrows is completely hidden. Santa will never find his way here, Fletcher thinks.
Fletcher worries all the way home and finally decides that there is only one thing a true friend would do--stay awake all night and when Santa visits his house, redirect him to the Rabbits' new home. Fletcher settles down to wait, and then... he falls asleep.
He awakes on Christmas morning, and as he looks at the gifts left for him, he realizes that he slept through Santa's arrival--and has failed to tell him how to find the Rabbits this year. Sadly Fletcher hurries through the new-fallen snow to apologize to the family, only to find them already opening the gifts that have been left under their tree. Somehow Santa found his way after all!
Julia Rawlinson's Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas (Greenwillow, 2010), beautifully illustrated in soft impressionistic watercolors by Tiphanie Beeke, sweetly tells the story of loyal friends and of that jolly saint who, in the words of Phyllis McGinley's Christmas classic The Year Without a Santa Claus (now reissued in a bright, new edition by Marshall Cavendish, 2010), never fails.
YEARLY, NEWLY, FAITHFULLY, TRULY,
SOMEHOW SANTA CLAUS ALWAYS COMES.