Winter whistled in — at least a very small whistle — here in Minneapolis this week-end.
My yard is white.
A frosting-layer of snow traces each tree’s branches, accentuating their loveliness.
Tell-tale tracks dimple the snow where squirrels, rabbits, and the occasional fox have scampered.
I love winter!!
Here are some books to greet this cold-and-cozy season.
Winter is Here, written by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Dronzek
published in 2018 by Greenwillow Books, Harper Collins
Henkes and Dronzek spin preschool magic once again with their perfect portrait of winter.
Lyric language that respects the minds of these youngest of listeners chronicles all that winter brings. Here are both exquisite beauties — leaves under ice “like stars in glass” — and everyday adversities — all those zippers and bulky layers that make bundling up such a chore.
Dronzek’s lovely palette, flurrried with snowflakes, portrays the blue, frosty chill as well as the rosy, cozy warmth associated with winter. Preschool perfection, right here. Ages 18 months and up.
Small Walt and Mo the Tow, written by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
published in 2018, a Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
We met the intrepid Walt, a small but mighty snowplow, in one earlier adventure. Now another blizzard has struck the town and a motorist has slid — plump! — into the ditch, stuck in deep snow.
Mo is itching to assist, but snowplows don’t haul cars from ditches. That’ll take the likes of Mo the Tow. It’s a bit disappointing for Walt, until it turns out that his snowplowing expertise is indeed necessary and teamwork saves the day.
Marc Rosenthal hits a home-run again with his retro illustration work that gives a highly- reminiscent nod to Virginia Lee Burton’s Katy and the Big Snow. What’s not to like?! A sure fire hit for ages 3 and up.
Good Morning, Snowplow!, by Deborah Bruss, art by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson
published in 2018, Arthur A. Levine Books, Scholastic
Because you can never have too many books about those heroes of the north — snowplows and their drivers!
Tag along with the crew as they head out in the blizzardy night, rev up their engines, fill their hoppers with salt and sand, and take to the roads, plowing to the music on the radio, radioing for help when they spot cars sliding into the ditches, clearing the way for us all.
Masterful artwork captures the blue chill and heavy snowfall, the beauty and swirl of snowflakes, the superb, outsized bulk of machinery, and the patient, devotion of one driver and his faithful dog.
I love that Minnesota’s snowplow drivers get a shoutout in the book’s dedication 🙂 This book will thrill big-machine-fans especially, as well as winter-lovers, ages 2 and up.
Hello, Mister Cold, written and illustrated by Carles Porta
published in 2018 by Flying Eye Books
Here are our old friends from the Hidden Valley whom we met a few weeks ago in their autumn adventure.
Dear Yula is here, still perpetually late. And the onion-headed ballerina, quietly creating beauty out of disarray. But here, too, is someone utterly new to the valley, Maxi, a true musician cast out of his coldly ambitious family, who is seeking a place to play a bit of TINC-BLIN-TUT on his beloved trumpet.
Of course, slight mayhem occurs before everything is sorted out in this magnificently quirky tale. I am looking forward to a Spring story from Hidden Valley. Catch up with these folks now, with readers ages 4 and up.
King Alice, written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
published in 2018 by Feiwel and Friends
Matthew Cordell captures the agony and ecstasy of a snow day in this funny, frenetic story of one small girl who would be king.
A snow day for Alice means non-stop opportunities for Fun with Dad and she loses no time in brandishing her scepter and issuing forth Copious Ideas. These include everything from baking “super-sparkly strawberry muffins” to hosting a unicorn party. Nothing simple, quiet, mess-free, and relaxing is on Alice’s docket, to be sure.
Poor, beleaguered Dad tries to keep up. He is a good egg, that fella. Along the way there is a well-deserved Time Out for the king herself, and a homemade book detailing the wild story of their day.
Ridiculous, out-of-control, and utterly relatable for parents and kids ages 4 and up.
There’s a virtual blizzard of other marvelous winter stories in my list here.
Grab an armful for reading with some hot chocolate!