Here am I, old Father Fox
With sweets in my pocket and holes in my socks
Bringing a basket brimful of cheer
A toy for each day until Christmas is here
We're fond of foxes here at bookstogether. Our favorite foxes are sisters Clyde and Wendy Watsons's; their Father Fox's Pennyrhymes was a National Book Award finalist in 1971. This collection of 18 original Christmas rhymes was published over thirty years later (FSG, 2003); we like it even better. The rhymes (by Clyde) are both crisp and cozy; the illustrations (by Wendy) reward lots of looking.
The Christmas rhymes can stand alone, although taken together (as we read them), they tell a story. I chose this one to share because it describes so well the atmosphere in our house (and the foxes') during the days before Christmas.
Secret things in
And knowing faces
Red glass beads
In the cracks of the floor
A whiff of paint
From behind a door
A telltale wink
And a finger to the lip
[Ssh! This year I'm making the kids stuffed foxes of rust-colored wool felt, wearing patched white linen nightclothes like the ones the Fox family wears. What are you making?]