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The Lost Gift

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Publisher's Weekly
After Santa drops a package in the woods, a quartet of animals attempts to deliver the gift to its proper destination, in a tender story set in a hushed forest. George succinctly sketches personalities for her heroes—Rabbit is the exuberant optimist, Bird gets things done, Deer helps cheerfully, and Squirrel is a kvetch. There are some hiccups on their way to a nearby farmhouse, but it’s all worth it when they see the New Baby open her gift from Santa, a rattle. (Or, as Squirrel puts it, “a noisy, lumpy stick.”) Graegin (How to Share with a Bear) creates sweeping expanses of moonlit snow for the animals to traverse under midnight blue Christmas Eve skies, creating an atmosphere of quiet magic as the animals discover the rewards of doing a kind deed.

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Kirkus
Four animal friends find a lost package that fell from Santa’s sleigh, and by working together, they deliver the package for Santa.

Rabbit, Squirrel, Deer, and Bird wait on a hilltop to see Santa fly by on Christmas Eve. The errant package falls into the snow, and the animals find a tag on the gift indicating the present is for the new baby at the farm nearby. They decide to build a sleigh to transport the present to the farm, and with much effort, they manage to deliver the package to its proper destination. The blonde, white baby is brought out on the porch by her young father, also white, to retrieve the gift. The animals peek in the window to see the baby playing with her new rattle, and she smiles at them while they watch. The animals trek back to their forest, where they find another wrapped package in the snow—a Christmas cake from Santa for his helpers.

In a lovely conclusion, the four friends enjoy their cake together as the sun rises on Christmas morning. The little animals are a charming group, each displaying a specific personality trait that contributes to the group’s dynamics. Captivating illustrations use pencil-and-ink washes to create a delicate atmosphere of snow-covered trees, midnight-blue skies, and shadows in snowy fields. A delightful, quiet story with a subtle theme of giving to others as a gift in itself.

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School Library Journal
A quartet of young woodland animals are staying up late to catch sight of Santa flying overhead in his sleigh. They are thrilled to spot him and to wave, but when a gust of wind knocks a present out of his sleigh and it falls to the ground, the friends retrieve it and undertake a laborious journey to bring it to its intended recipient, a baby in a farmhouse, with Squirrel grumping the whole time. When they arrive back home, there's a present waiting for them, with a thank you note from Santa. There isn't much of a story here, but the sweet and slightly dorky expressions of the animals, the cartoon appeal of the illustrations, and the friends' delight at the baby's happiness will charm young readers.

VERDICT: A cheerful choice for lapsits or story time.

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Horn Book
A group of forest-animal friends embarks on a quest to return a gift to its rightful owner: the present that dropped from Santa's sleigh is for the "New Baby" (though not that new baby) at a nearby farm. "Santa would want us to deliver it," says Rabbit, and the friends set off, cheerfully—at first. As they trudge along, tired and hungry, thoughts of Santa (who is also journeying through the cold, dark night) urge them forward. Listeners and readers will empathize with the characters' emotions, captured in friendly, digitally colored pencil-and-ink-wash illustrations. The writing is simple yet expressive. And for those readers hoping to land on the "nice" list, the story's last line may resonate the most: "Santa always knows."

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Kiss the Book Blog Spot
Four small animals are waiting to see Santa on Christmas Eve, when they see a present fall from his sleigh. At the urging of Bird, they take the present to the intended receiver. When they finally arrive home, they find that Santa left a gift for them. This is a cute Christmas story. I can’t help thinking that it would be even better as a board book. The illustrations are charming, the story is sweet.

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Imagination Soup Review
When a gift tumbles out of Santa’s sleigh, these animal friends build a sleigh and journey to deliver the gift themselves. They’re so tired but happy to see the baby likes her gift. When they return home, Santa has left them the perfect gift, too. Sweet.

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The Reading Nook Reviews
One of the best parts of the holiday season, is all the gorgeous, heartwarming picture books that come into the world right around this time.

Such was the case with the exquisitely beautiful The Lost Gift, by Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin. George introduces us to a cheerful group of animal friends, who convene together into the woods. They come across a present lost by Santa, and make it a point to deliver the gift to the right recipient.

Sometimes, some of the best stories are the simplest ones, and this was absolutely the case with The Lost Gift. George paints a beautiful picture of curious forest animals who set out together on a selfless goal; one that reminds readers of the true meaning of joy and celebration during the holiday season. (And of course, there's a little surprise in it for them as well!)

Graegin's art is exquisite, bringing together the expansive forest in a way that feels warm and welcoming. The animals clearly have their own personalities and charms as well, and readers are bound to close the story with a smile on their face. I highly, happily recommend this book, full stop.

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Pamela Kramer Blogspot:
8 Perfect Picture books for Christmas

The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin (Schwartz & Wade) is the story of four forest animal friends who see a gift slip from Santa’s sleigh as he flies overhead on Christmas Eve. They find the gift which is addressed to the new baby at the farm. What to do? They decide to take the gift to the baby, even though it’s not easy for them to do it without arms to carry the gift. They cleverly manage to do it, even though it takes them hours. They are hungry, tired and cold when they finish their errand. But then they find a surprise of their own waiting for them!

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Caffeinated Book Reviewer: Nonna's Corner
In this charming Christmas-themed picture book that feels like a classic, four animals deliver a lost package for Santa. It’s Christmas Eve, and Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel are eagerly waiting for Santa to fly overhead. When he does, a gift tumbles out of his sleigh, landing in the woods. The friends find the gift and read the tag: “For the new baby at the farm. Love, Santa.” And so, in spite of Squirrel’s grumbling—“It’s not our baby”—they set off on a long journey to deliver it. Sweet, poignant, and starring a cast of truly adorable characters, this is a story sure to be shared year after year at Christmastime.

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Provo Library Children's Reviews
Four animals sit on a hill watching the night sky (and Santa for this particular night he is flying by to deliver gifts). Unfortunately, one of the gifts on Santa’s sleigh falls from the sky. The deer, rabbit, squirrel, and bird go to the gift and discover that it is for the new baby that lives somewhat close. The animals decide that they should help Santa by delivering the gift themselves (though it is quite the feat for these four animals to do). This book is one that will help little ones remember that the feeling you get when giving and being generous is truly what the holiday is all about.

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Luxury Reading Blog
With the holiday season finally here, it’s that time of the year where everyone is discovering what gifts to get the little ones. Well, author Kallie George put together the perfect Christmas package, The Lost Gift. Prepare for an adventure about service, giving and the essence of joy!

The Lost Gift is bound to reach immense success upon its release. It’s an adorable, fun and interactive book between the reader and the children. In my opinion, anyone who has the opportunity to read this book is going to be floored with the story line, the characters and the message. For teachers and parents, the book is easy to read and guide the children along. The sizing of the words is perfect for any teacher reading to a large class of children. With multiple characters ranging from a rabbit to a bird, from a deer to a squirrel, there is an animal each child will love. On top of this, each animal has a unique personality that creates of a truly magical and unique experience!

The story and adventure begins when the animals believe they spot Santa Clause flying in the sky. On his path to delivering presents, the animals see a present falling from Santa’s sleigh. With her fast instincts, the bird flaps her wings over to the present. Upon delivering the gift, the animals learn a very valuable lesson. In life, joy is not necessarily in the physical gift but rather the joy in others and the art of giving. In return for giving back the gift, all of the animals received their own personal gift from Santa.

The Lost Gift provides the perfect opportunity for children to read along–if they don’t get lost in the beautifully illustrated images! In my opinion, it was a beautiful read inside and out. I would recommend this as the perfect Christmas gift for a young child.

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Common Sense Media
Parents need to know that The Lost Gift is a sweet, appealing picture book about four cute forest critters who retrieve and deliver a present that falls from Santa's sleigh on Christmas Eve. Its simple tale and colourful illustrations offer gentle messages about kindness, teamwork, and taking the trouble to make someone else happy—even when you don't have to.

A Bookworm's World
There's nothing like reading holiday books to get ready for Christmas!

Author Kallie George and Illustrator Stephanie Graegin have a new Christmas story out called The Lost Gift.

Santa and his sack of gifts are flying over the forest when a gift tumbles out of the sleigh, unnoticed by Santa. But four animals of the forest, Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel, take notice and wonder what they should do.

The animals debate on what should be and this opens up many opportunities for discussion with your child in the The Lost Gift. What would you do if you found a parcel meant for someone else? Lots of right/wrong and feeling questions that could be brought up. What do you think is in the parcel? What are you hoping for for Christmas? George's story is thoughtful and I like that it's brought to life with animals as the main character.

There's always one in the crowd—and this time it's Squirrel, who provides the negative outlook. Again, more discussion opportunities about friends.

The 'word pages' are laid out well, offering up time to enjoy the illustrations as well. Again, lots of inspiration for talking about your family's traditions - tree decorating, visiting etc. for example.

The faces and expressions of the animals are appealing and kind. Graegin's illustrations match the tone and tenor of the story, are detailed (I enjoyed finding the little house on various pages) and colorful.

George has penned a wonderful message in The Lost Gift —perfect for this time of the year. Thumbs up from Little Guy and Gramma for this sweet, charming tale. The Lost Gift has been added to their holiday bookshelf, ready for future Christmastime reading.

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Deseret News
Rabbit, Deer, Bird and Squirrel can’t wait for Christmas Day, so they stay up late to watch Santa’s sleigh fly across their forest home. But as Santa flies on to continue his deliveries, one present accidentally falls out of his sleigh, and Rabbit, Deer and Bird decide it’s up to them to get the gift to its rightful owner. Squirrel tags along reluctantly as the animals build a sleigh of their own to deliver the present to New Baby Girl at the Farm.

Kallie George’s words convey the message of thinking of others in a way children can understand, and Stephanie Graegin’s pencil, ink and digitally colored illustrations bring the story to life.

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Novel Novice Blog
Perfect for Gifting: I loved the way Squirrel groaned and grumbled through everything; that’s totally me in a lot of situations! And, like Squirrel, my friends and loved ones can usually talk me into (begrudgingly) going along with the plan. I also loved how the book shows that the joy of a bab —which is so pure and innocent and true—can make anyone feel good, even grumpy old me. I mean Squirrel.

The illustrations are also GORGEOUS!

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Nashville Parent Magazine
Just as Squirrel, Rabbit, Deer and Bird wave to Santa as he soars above them on Christmas Eve, one present falls from Santa’s sleigh. It bears a tag to “the New Baby at the Farm.” The four animals build a sleigh so they deliver the gift themselves, and the journey isn’t easy. The baby’s happiness turns out to be a warm reward for the foursome, but Santa also rewards them. How did Santa know what they did? “Santa always knows.” Graegin’s digitally colored pencil-and-ink washes ideally suit the precise and perfect text. This could become a holiday classic.

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Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Blogspot
This has got to be one of my FAVORITE picture book titles this holiday season. Filled with heart and humor, it has appeal for the whole family. It reminds us that doing good for the sake of good is always to be strived for . . .and anything we reap from what we sow is just icing on the cake (as these forest friends will tell you). My favorite character was Rabbit because no matter what, he knew that that gift needed to get to its destination. His faith in what Santa would have wanted them to do never faltered, even when some of his friends were less than interested in helping. Join this merry band of forest friends as they follow in the snowy prints of the big man in red to deliver a gift in more ways than one.

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Mom's Radius
When a gift falls out of Santa's sleigh, the animals of the forest take it upon themselves to deliver it to the new baby that it's meant for. This book is a tale of ingenuity, teamwork, and perseverance. It's about believing in yourself and trying to accomplish a task. But it's also about the adorable illustrations and the animals saving the day for Christmas. Santa even has a little reward for them in the end.

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Mabel's Fables Raves
Favourite holiday-themed books
The Lost Gift: A Christmas Story by Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin An adorable new picture book following a group of forest animals who find a present that falls out of Santa's sleigh as he flies by on Christmas Eve. The gift is simply labelled, "For the new baby on the farm, Love Santa." The animals work together to deliver the gift, as they know it will bring happiness to a small child. And bringing happiness is of utmost importance during the holiday season. The illustrations are endearing and atmospheric—depicting a gentle, snowy night that exudes stillness and a blanket of winter.

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Wicked Local Rochester:
Books to Borrow, Books to Buy

One cold, blustery Christmas Eve, four animal friends sat together on the top of Merry Woods Hill, waiting for Santa to fly by on his sleigh. Suddenly, Santa passed by, they all waved to one another, and just as suddenly, a present falls from Santa's sack and tumbles to the ground. The friends conclude they must go find the present. Once discovered, they read the tag: the present is for the "New Baby at the Farm." What to do now? Deliver the present themselves!

A charming Christmas story that resonates with the joy of giving, this selection is delightful.

The Lost Gift

Order: Indie Store / Amazon: US | Can

Illustration Gallery:
The Lost Gift.Duck, Duck, Dinosaur. Spark.