December 03, 1993 at 05:00 AM EST

Three page-turners to ring in the festivities: *CHRISTMAS CAROL Sara Teasdale; illustrated by Dale Gottlieb (Holt, $14.95, ages 2 to 6) Childlike art and an exuberant rhyme tell the story of Jesus’ birth. A

*ASHER AND THE CAPMAKERS Eric A. Kimmel; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand (Holiday House, $15.95, ages 4 to 8) On the night before Hanukkah, a boy ventures into the forest; he returns with quite a yarn to tell. B+

*HARVEY SLUMFENBURGER’S CHRISTMAS PRESENT John Burningham (Candlewick, $15.95, ages 4 to 8) Oops! Santa almost forgot one gift. But in this sly tale, old Nick delivers. A

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