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Three Snowy Books for a Cozy Night of Reading

I sure wish I could throw a snowball once in a while, but that’s not likely to happen here at my home in Miami. At least in place of the real thing, I am able to enjoy three unique books about winter. One features a snowman, one is about a mommy grizzly bear and her cub and one is about -get this – a sledding pig. Let’s get started!

Making a Friend ($16.99, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, ages 4 and up), by bestselling author, Alison McGhee, is one of those really cozy books you want to read to your child in bed on a snowy night. It’s a story about a boy who is dreaming of winter and is longing for a snowman friend. The first snowfall finally arrives and his dream comes true, but soon the weather warms and he is wondering where the snowman went. The seasons change and he soon discovers something important about his snowman friend and about life. What I like about this book is that so much of the story is told through the wonderful illustrations by artist, Marc Rosenthal. It’s just a subtle, comforting story that celebrates the right of every child to make a snowman, come the first snowfall of the season.

Every child’s library needs some really simple books that warm the heart and feed the soul. Starry Night, Hold Me Tight ($12.95, Running Press Kids, ages 4 and up) by Jean Sagendorph is one of those books. Told in simple rhyme, it is about a day of play and a starry night in the life of a cub and his mommy. The charming illustrations by Kim Siebold, done in black and white on a silvery blue background are fitting for the story. This is a perfect book for a bedtime story for very young children.

Can it be that author Leo Timmers was on Breckinridge with me in 1983 when I “skied” for the very first time, and my chaotic downhill adventures inspired him to write this book? Oops! ($5.95, Clavis Publishing, ages 3 and up) is a funny, darling book about a pig that has lost all control as he sleds down hill. He is forced to make instant decisions to keep from crashing into other creatures on the mountain. Young readers learn the difference between words such as “over,” “under,” “around” and “between.” Trained in graphic design, Mr. Timmers’ illustrations are colorful and crisp and very cartoon-like. Both parents and kids will get a good laugh out of the story and are sure to enjoy reading it over and over again.

-Reviewed by Debbie Glade

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Snow Days

The Question, ($16.95, www.shakethemoonbooks.com) by Scott J. Langteau with illustrations by Lidat Truong, both SoCal locals, is a funny, imaginative new book (published early December 2011), ideal for ages 4-8. One of my recommendations would be to read the book slowly, savoring every colorful page like you would a delicious assortment of pastries. You’ll want to have plenty of time to study all the fantastic, detailed artwork on each page because there are lots of silly little things added for those who don’t turn the pages too quickly. And like pastries, who wants to miss a good treat?

As I write I am looking at the mountain peaks now frosted in fresh, white snow. On such a wintry day, what would you do if you awoke to a window “of snow to the sky, under drifts that have buried every house that’s nearby?” That is the initial question this delightful picture book poses and the way the main character keeps pushing the question to extremes, as my son would do, is something a lot of kids could relate to. “If I’m stuck here ’til spring, as is likely the case, will I write a great novel or just stare into space?”

I especially loved the surprise ending since I had no idea where the story was taking me! I was just so happy to be along for the ride.  While there are one or two rhymes that were a stretch for me, I think children might not be as picky as I am and will more than likely have joined the young boy on his imaginative adventure in no time at all. If you like this book, you’ll want to check out the author’s previous book entitled Sofa Boy. That’s my plan – Sofa Boy and some pastries!

Watch an eBook trailer  here:

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