Five Mile Charlie: A Five Mile Christmas
by Kimberly Adams
Mascot Kids

"Grumps had not sung for a long time, but now he threw back his head and howled a joyous tune."

Christmas is approaching the Five Mile Farm, and it is alive with activities. The cooler weather and shining lights make the meadow buzz with excitement. Carly and Charlie have a plan to bring the joy of the season to someone who needs it most—Grumps. He is not simply bad or mean but rather very sad and lonely. Once they discover this, they know how to help. Charlie wants to use his beautiful wool to craft a sweater for Grumps. All the animals on the farm are ready to help. Carly gets the equipment needed to shear and clean his wool, spin it into yarn, and knit it into a cozy coat. Grumps lingers near the farm to see what all the commotion is about. He is surprised when Charlie does not chase him away. Instead, Carly and the farm animals gift him with a warm, wooly jacket. He feels joy and friendship for the first time in a long time.

Adams’ talent shines in this charming tale. Her writing style is alive with action, emotion, and humor. The narrative is entertaining, with endearing characters representing diverse personalities. She introduces valuable lessons of friendship, kindness, and community in an intelligent, subtle way. Meanwhile, David Gnass’ vivid illustrations bring the beloved creatures to life. He has a unique talent for portraying action. This book is part of a skillfully written series, and each book can be read alone or in sequence as a set. Young readers will enjoy the activeness of the story. Aside from meeting loveable characters, the audience learns how everyday things, like sweaters, are made. It is a delightful read for Christmas or any other time of the year and would be a great gift for a child or teacher.

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