This was a seven book week, but my top pick is more of a picture book than a novel. I've chosen Gregory Maguire's Matchless: A Christmas Story, not for its impressive story-telling, nor for its simple pictures, but because it was the tale that stuck with me.
Maguire re-imagines Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Girl in a slightly more uplifting vein. The original has long-since fallen out of favor due, I think, to its overwhelming melancholy. Maguire's retelling is slightly less dour, but also more hopeful. And it won't take you more than ten minutes to read.