Anthony J. Marolda

This year, we needed a new painting for our Christmas Card. So, I thought of doing a painting of Howard, the polar bear cub's, first Christmas. The painting to the right was the result. It shows Howard with a Christmas wreath around his neck, like those on the cubs in our Christmas decorations featured on the previous page. As soon as I finished the painting, the story behind Howard's First Christmas popped into mind and I quickly wrote a second Howard book. It is called, well, "Howard's First Christmas". The cover is above right.

In the story, Howard first learns about Christmas, Santa Claus and the North Pole while overhearing a conversation between Inuit children. He becomes concerned that he is on Santa's Naughty List. Against his mother's wishes, he sets out on a big adventure to go to the North Pole, meet Santa and explain why he was occasionally naughty and should really be on the Nice List.

My grandneice, Keri, liked the first Howard book and read it many times to her sons. So, I decided to do a special Howard painting for her family. Above left is Howard and his Mom in a special moment. It is done in soft pastels on pastelbord.