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The book for this 16th day in our Christmas picture book journey is a lovely vintage story that I have been tracking down for over a year now. I finally found a copy that is well-worn, has a broken spine, and is in need of my post-library circulation TLC. I’m so excited to have it and share some of its loveliness with you. A tender story about growing up, being generous with your time and resources, and celebrating the holiday with an all-out surprise party. This is The Christmas Party by Adrienne Adams, 1978.

The Christmas Party cover

Back around Easter I posted about the first Adrienne Adams book that introduced me to this Abbott rabbit family who are the stunning painters of Easter eggs. That book was written in 1976 and thankfully two years later, Adams decided to continue their story with this holiday tale.

The son rabbit, Orson, is growing up rapidly and keeping himself very busy with the egg painting. He has no time for the little rabbits in the forest who vie for his attention. One day however, they corner him and coerce him into agreeing to help throw a Christmas party for all their parents. Not thrilled, but a keeper of his promises, Orson enlists his parents to help and they throw the biggest and loveliest surprise party the rabbit families have every seen.

The Christmas Party inside spread

The story is quite simple and written in Adams’ genuine and neat style. It is an interesting enough plot with a very soft climax that keeps it enjoyable while allowing the lovely illustrations to take full force. This is my fourth Adrienne Adams book to purposefully track down and I’m continually delighted by her gentle, soft palette and the charming details combined with sparse landscapes. Her characters and linework are so delicate and easily endearing without becoming sickeningly sweet.

The Christmas Party inside spread 2

The heart of this book, along with the tender illustrations, have such an air of giving and celebration and generosity. It is a lovely story to start off the incredible week of craziness that comes before a holiday week and travel!

Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.