Cornelia Funke’s The Glass of Lead & Gold is that best of things, a beautiful, small volume consisting of a Christmas story that can be read at any time. Written in English and illustrated by Cornelia herself, it is set in her Reckless world.
In an alternate, past London, we meet Tabetha, an orphan trying to survive by searching for ‘treasure’ in the Thames mud. Just before Christmas she’s asked by a stranger to look for a sliver of glass. A specific sliver, for which he will pay well.
There is a ‘soup kitchen’ and a troll, as well as a one-armed waitress, and together they work some Christmas magic.
I reckon anyone would love to discover this in a stocking, or to have it to read in the months leading up to Christmas. It’s small and could lead to better things, just like the sliver of glass.