Joe finally gets a present from Santa that he really wants: a real, live penguin! But a real penguin needs creamed herring for dinner (yuck….) and is sad and lonely until Joe shares his ice cold baths with him.
A father and son set off at dawn to find a Christmas tree in a field by Long Pond. They pass a doe and her two fawns, a wood pecker searching for carpenter ants, and a fox. The tree they choose - like the landscape - is beautiful.
When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.