January brings the snow…

The arctic blast that passed up the East Coast last week brought a taste of winter to many who normally miss out!

Photo of Charleston by Matthew Fortner/The Post And Courier

While here in Minnesota, I am pining for more snow. Whatever your winter is dishing up, you can enjoy drifts of snow in these frosty books:

Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day, written and illustrated by Kaya Doi, translated from the Japanese by Yuki Kaneko
published in 2017 by Enchanted Lion

Winner of my Orange Marmalade Juicy for Imagination is this exquisite, charming story of two tiny girls on an icy adventure.

Dring! Dring! go the bells on their steady bicycles as they enter a crystal palace, sip hot cider from ice mugs, dine at ice tables, bask in hot pools, feast on colorful steamed buns, and snuggle down in just the right igloo with their new forest friends.

Every inch of this story is an imaginative delight, with Doi’s tender colored pencil work creating a magical, winter dreamscape. Ages 2 and up.

When the Snow Falls, written by Linda Booth Sweeney, illustrated by Jana Christy
published in 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

There’s really nothing like the excitement of an unexpected snow day…

…when the usual morning routine of bundling off to school is brought to a full stop and the very thing that prevents it — snow — offers a day full of rosy-cheeked fun!

I think I have never seen a kick-sled in a snow story before!

Skippet along with two happy kids and their grandparents as they revel in snowy landscapes near their country home and in the nearby bustling town. Sweeney’s text is entirely comprised of wee couplets that dance merrily along, spritely with action and onomatopoeia. Christy’s icy-and-warm illustrations wear a lovely frosty haze that tinges each vibrant page with a sense of nippy air. Joyous, for ages 2 and up.

Winter Dance, written by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones
published in 2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

As late autumn transitions into snowy winter, one small red fox wonders if he should be somehow prepping for the new season. But what to do?

His fellow woodland creatures all seem to have settled plans. Wooly caterpillar is spinning a chrysalis. Turtle is burrowing in the mud at the bottom of the pond. Flittering bat is making his way to a snug cave to sleep the winter away.

None of these seems just right for a fox, though. What is the perfect way for a fox to encounter winter? Read and find out in this sweet story. Minneapolis writer Marion Dane Bauer’s text is masterfully tailored to young children, beautiful worded yet restrained. It has the sense of a classic. Richard Jones delivers a dear fox who captures our hearts, steers clear of cutesy, and leads us in a lovely, realistic woodsy setting. Ages 2 and up.

Small Walt, written by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
published in 2017, A Paula Wiseman book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

In the snowtracks of Virginia Lee Burton’s beloved Katy, here comes a little red snowplow named Walt.

A mighty snowstorm has blanketed the city and the line-up of snowplows is ready for work. But, alas! None of the drivers will choose Walt! He’s too small, they say.

Until, thank goodness, Gus declares he’ll drive Walt. Rev up that engine, Walt, and show ’em what you can do!

The classic victorious underdog theme here is given wonderful retro images by Marc Rosenthal that harken to Burton’s work as well as Roger Duvoisin’s. It’s a stouthearted joy for sharing with little shavers ages 2 and up.

And P.S. — Don’t miss the charming endpapers and take a peek at that cover art under the dustcover 🙂 Fantastic!

Snow Scene, written by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
published in 2017, a Neal Porter Book from Roaring Brook Press

So much cleverness going on here!

Jackson and Seeger join forces to create linked word-and-picture puzzlers. A close up of shapes on one page challenges us to think, “What are these?”

Turn the page to step back a bit and see the birch trees in this snowy glade. But now a new element puzzles us: the shadowy shapes on the snow. What are those?

Each bold, textured painting provides a resolution to one question and leads to another. Curiosity and wondering, discovery and new perspectives, unfurl as the seasons move from winter to spring to summer…yet still there’s snow in the picture. How can that be?

Genius in its tantalizing, thought-provoking, mind-stretching beauty. For ages 2 and up.

Mice Skating, written by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Teagan White
published in 2017 by Sterling Childen’s Books

Minnesota artist Teagan White’s trademark woodsy charm permeates this little tale of four mice friends in wintertime.

Just one of them, Lucy, is in love with the banks of snow and icy ponds. She delights in catching snowflakes and tasting icicles, and begs the others to join her. Her three friends, however, much prefer snuggling in their cozy burrow.

With a little dose of craft and kindness, Lucy finally tempts them out of doors whereupon they happily fall in love with the delights of winter. The story itself is thoroughly cute; White’s illustrations and hand-lettering amplify the sweetness enormously. Ages 2 and up.

Find lots more great winter stories through the link at the bottom of the blog.
Get out there and enjoy the cold, then snuggle up with some cozy stories! What could be better?