When Lily and her younger brother Liam go to stay with their grandparents during the week leading up to Christmas - a yearly tradition in their family - they expect another delightful visit, full of the joy of spending time with loved ones, visiting the local "lilac" library (so named because it always smells of lilacs), decorating the house and tree, and selecting gifts at the local shops. Things don't go quite as planned however, when Liam - sensitive and very stubborn - decides that something must be done about White Cow, now the sole resident of their grandparents' adjacent field, after the departure of her only companion, Rosie the donkey. Convinced that White Cow is lonely, and bolstered by his research, which indicates that cows are social animals, Liam sets out to find a companion for the solitary cow, eventually winning over the reluctant Lily to his cause... This brief chapter-book by the author of the Newbery Medal winner Sarah, Plain and Tall is an engaging holiday story, one which highlights the emotional lives of animals, and emphasizes our responsibility to care for the creatures in our charge. I can't think of another story for children which imparts this message using livestock animals, rather than pets, and think it would be especially appealing - for this reason - for vegetarian children, and for readers particularly interested in the welfare of farm animals. For those young readers who are not, parents should probably expect questions about where meat comes from, and how the animals in question were treated. I know I was thinking about it, while reading The True Gift.