An old saw observes that “a book is a gift you can open again and again” — which happens, happily, to be true. Here are a few recent wintry offerings, some with holiday overtones and others that would make exquisite presents any time of the year.
On Christmas Eve the king spots a bolt of Christmas-y, soft, “beautiful bright-red cloth” and decides to have a cloak made for the princess. The royal tailors bundle up the scraps and leave them on the back door, where Jenny, the kitchen maid, takes them home to sew a Christmas jacket for her mother. She sets her scraps out, and Bertie Badger makes a bright red cap for his papa — and so it goes, in ever-decreasing sizes and ever-increasing circles of generosity. (The last “tiny scrap of cloth” goes to a mouse’s son, for a scarf.)