Noel's Christmas Secret
Grégoire Solotareff ~ Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1988
Originally published in France, Noel's Christmas Secret is an interesting take on how Santa came to be. And so it begins... Noel is a sweet little boy who stumbles across a large red sack in the woods one day.
One day, whole Noel was walking in the woods near his house, he came upon a huge red sack. There was an envelope on top of it. It said:
Noel opened the envelop. The handwriting was shaky, so he sat down on the sack and read the letter, aloud, slowly, as he did in school.
To whoever found this huge red sack,
We will meet you tomorrow in the very same place. But be careful not to tell anyone that you found this.
Apple, Thumb, and Piggy
A series of events lead the boy to make a secret pact with a bunch of magic dwarf magicians culminating in his immortality and the delivery of presents to children every December the 24th. Wonderfully illustrated, finding it this year sure offered some respite from reading The Night Before Christmas yet again. (Alas, how quickly the fruit spoils! Just one more day folks! One more day!)