scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source
James Herriot wrote many wonderful animal stories for children, from his perspective as a veterinarian. While Herriot is present in his stories as the narrator, the focus is on his clients and their relationships with their unique pets and farm animals. One of my all-time favorites of his is The Christmas Day Kitten. It portrays both sadness at the death of an animal friend, as well as the joy of the new life of a unique and playful little kitten (I've also discovered that this may not be the best book to read while pregnant and feeling more emotional than usual!).
As in Herriot's other stories, Ruth Brown's warm, realistic illustrations capture each scene and feeling perfectly. The text is a bit wordier than some picture books, so it might not hold the attention of very young children. While this story doesn't really get into the practical aspects of celebrating Christmas, it's still a sweet glimpse of the hope of life springing from sadness.
Scrounged From: My parents' house
Author: James Herriot
Illustrator: Ruth Brown
Content Advisory: Death of a stray/pet cat is described.