Merry Christmas, Peanut!

Merry Christmas, Peanut! illus. by Terry Border. 32p. Philomel. Oct. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399176210.
PreS-Gr 2—In this spirited tale from the creator of Peanut Butter and Cupcake and other photo-illustrated stories featuring tasty food items as characters, young Peanut is traveling to his grandmother's house for Christmas dinner. He and his parents set off in the family car but soon encounter an obstacle—an accident involving a peanut baker whose giant jar of jelly has spilled all over the road. The baker is sad because now he cannot make his famous jelly donuts, so Peanut invites him to come along to Grandma's house. Additional delays introduce more peanuts in distress. Peanut invites them, too, enthusiastically proclaiming, "Don't be sad! I'll cheer you up! I'm the Merry Christmas nut!" Grandmother is unfazed by the extra guests. There's plenty of food, including a wagon full of mashed potatoes and gravy. Everyone stays the night, and the fun continues the next day with a rousing game of hockey atop an orange popsicle.
VERDICT Kids will be mesmerized by Border's clever photos, which imbue the peanuts with personality and a true sense of action. The message of kindness comes across with no overt religious references. Good nutty fun!

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