I was leery, frankly -- because he is a Three Detectives man from way back, while I have always been more of a Brains Benton and Robin Kane girl. But I finally gave in and read his stinking book, and loved it. Of course.
Mrs. Coverlet's Magicians, by Mary Nash, is a great little chapter book, second in a series. The three Persever children, Malcolm, Molly, and six-year-old Toad are left with their cranky neighbor as Christmas approaches. Without their father and Mrs. Coverlet, who will make Christmas happen? The Toad takes things into his own hands with the help of a magic kit he orders from the back of a comic book. And Malcolm and Molly take steps as well, while Miss Eva, the bossy and disapproving neighbor, takes mysteriously to her bed. Has Toad created Christmas magic, or is something else going on? The friendly pastor who looks in on the children has his own opinion.
"There's been magic around us, all right," he said. "I felt it very strongly when I came to your house last night and saw you and Molly filling the stockings."
"Then you do believe in magic?"
"I believe in magic at Christmas," said Mr. Forthright reflectively. "The amount of goodwill which is set loose every year at this time is quite unaccountable."