The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root, Christopher Pennell, HMH Books.
This whimsical fairy-tale just shimmers with all the right touches. There are musical anthropomorphic rats with gorgeous names and unnatural trees with friendly traits. The heroine Carly is lonely because her “contrary clock” is reversed. She has a medical oddity that makes her sleep at dawn and rise at dusk. There is a creepy griddlebeast with a wannabe owl's fashion sense. The illustrations are lovely pen and ink doodlings wrapped around the text in the margins at just the right spots.