No Place Like Home for the Holidays: Home for Christmas by Jan Brett
ROLLO WAS A WILD TROLL. A VERY WILD TROLL, ALWAYS RACING OFF, HIS SCRUFFY TROLL TAIL BOUNCING AROUND BEHIND HIM.
The thing about troll tails is that no troll wants to keep one. Rollo's little sister, obviously the perfect little troll in the family, has already lost hers, but Rollo's disobedience has insured that his tail grows, if anything, even longer and more scraggly each day. He won't make his bed; he won't chop wood; he won't feed the chickens, and one morning, ordered to get to work, he just runs away, off into the beckoning mountains.
It's early fall, and fruits and berries are everywhere, and with the plenitude of food, the other animals--a mother owl, a mama bear and her cubs, a lynx, and a troop of river otters--are happy to share with the playful Rollo. At last he catches a ride on the back of one of a small herd of moose, and just in time, too, for ice has formed on the pond every morning, and it isn't very long before snowy winter sets in.
One day, when the moose have dropped their big antlers, Rollo commandeers one for a sled and is off on a thrilling downhill run, one which ends in a valley where Rollo smells something that reminds him of home, the scent of a wood fire, obviously fed with wood Rollo didn't chop. Will the bushy-tailed runaway find a welcome by the fire with his family?
Well, there's no place like home, even for bad little trolls, in Jan Brett's latest, Home for Christmas (G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2011). A brand-new Jan Brett Christmas story is an event, and this one is faithful to her tried-and-true format--brilliantly colored and intricately detailed watercolor and gouache paintings, accented with just a touch of Yuletide red and green, framed by birch bark borders that portray the doings of Rollo's loving (and tailless) troll family in his absence. True to the prodigal son theme, Rollo's welcome return is celebrated in jolly Scandinavian Yuletide tradition.
Pair this one with any of Brett's classic Christmas stories--The Wild Christmas Reindeer, The Three Snow Bears, Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?, The Twelve Days of Christmas, and The Night Before Christmas: Book & DVD--they're all beautifully illustrated Christmas classics!