Make your holiday extra jolly with two old-fashioned Christmas tales that are just right for tucking under the tree. A Christmas Stocking Story is a simple but fun rhyming tale from Hilary Knight, the renowned illustrator of the Eloise books. First published in 1963, this classic story has been updated by the author with enlarged, full-color pictures. In this volume, eight friends Stork, Hippo, Lion, Fish, Elephant, Snake, Fox and Bug prepare for the holiday by hanging up their worn-out stockings for Santa. On Christmas morning, however, the gang is disappointed by what Saint Nick has left. It's an odd assortment indeed: four lace mittens, a knitted sleeve, a tiny towel, a comb and brush, diamond rings, hay and toenail clippers. But when the menagerie decides to switch gifts among themselves, they all get what they want. Stork wears the knitted sleeve on his throat, which is prone to infections, while Fish loves the tiny towel, and Elephant adores his hay.

The real delights in this book are Knight's whimsical illustrations, which are full of energy and reminiscent of Dr. Seuss' Whoville in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. One spread shows Santa tiptoeing through the snow, visiting each of the critters' little dwellings, where they're tucked in cozily. This is a quick, fun read, perfect for those nights before the holidays when everyone is exhausted from so many activities.

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