December 05, 1988 12:00 PM

>GARFIELD’S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS It’s not exactly that Garfield is taking this assignment lying down, since that’s his preferred position all the time. His annotated version of the Clement C. Moore poem is, however, on the idiosyncratic side. At the “away to the window I flew like a flash” part, he asides, “This had better be worth it.” Once he’s past the wink of Santa’s eye and twist of his head, Garfield says, “Let’s talk presents.” It’s a pleasant, funny way of letting the hip cat meet up with the old boy and, as usual, Garfield carries Jim Davis through the whole project. (Grosset & Dunlap)

A PEA POD CHRISTMAS Like the other books in the Pea Pod series, this one comes with 4″-high dolls that will fit into pop-up scenes in the story. In Michael Stoy’s tale, the Pea Pods’ Christmas mail misses the boat to the North Pole, so the kids have to make a special delivery via balloon. While the package is a bit cumbersome, hands-on children should enjoy it. The artwork is by Melanie Milkie, the pop-ups by Linda Costello. (Playland)

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