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Mortimer's Christmas Manger    by Karma Wilson & Jane Chapman order for
Mortimer's Christmas Manger
by Karma Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Margaret K. McElderry, 2005 (2005)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Wee Mortimer Mouse has a big problem - he lives 'in a dark hole under the stairs', where it's 'Too cold. Too cramped. Too creepy.' Then one day, while seeking 'crumbs and tidbits', he spots something new and wonderful - beside a twinkling tree is 'A house just my size!'

He clambers up the tree, to find the little house occupied by small statues of people and strange animals. So he drags them out and settles down in the straw in the manger. Every day, after he scavenges for food, he finds the statues set up again. He squeaks, 'No, no, no! ... There's no room for me!', and removes them each time. How will this end?

Mortimer overhears a wonderful story and it touches him, so he heads back to 'the cold, cramped, creepy hole.' But on the way, the little creature's prayer is answered, in Karma Wilson's sweet story of Mortimer's Christmas Manger. And Jane Chapman's bright, festive illustrations pull this wee mouse right into the reader's heart.

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