Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Read Your Way Through...Winter!

OK, here's the first installment of the new blog series, appropriately about winter since we've been facing one heck of a snowstorm here in Columbus the last few days. These are books that I adore for their illustrations and each of their individual readability.

First up: Oh! (words by Kevin Henkes pictures by Laura Dronzek)

The snow has fallen all night long and now we're invited out to play with all the animals! "The rabbit wants to play. Hop, hop, hop, shy little rabbit." The illustrations so vibrantly capture the brightness and whiteness of the snow. The text is simple, almost poetic, and conveys the wonder and delight that a big snowfall brings. Read this one on a cold winter evening while drinking hot cocoa.


Next: Polar Bear Night (by Lauren Thompson pictures by Stephen Savage)

Little polar bear goes out on a late night adventure in the snow. The stillness of these illustrations remind me of how quiet and calm the world is after a snowfall. Everything is covered in a glistening white and ordinary things look extra special and beautiful. I also love how the book ends, with polar bear returning "home", which is snuggled up with Mama.


Don't Wake Up the Bear! (by Marjorie Dennis Murray illustrated by Patricia Wittmann)
When I first flipped through this book, I thought it looked way long and too wordy for our youngster. But, my husband has a way of really making it work and J patiently enjoys it. It's a fun cumulative tale of all the animals who creep into bear's den to snuggle up against his warmth. Everyone is resting peacefully until a tiny mouse attempts to ward off a giant ACHOO!


Continuing on the bear/hibernation theme is one of our favorites, both for the stoy and the illustrations: Old Bear (by Kevin Henkes)
Take a peek at the colorful and wonderful dreams of bear as he sleeps through the winter. Read this one on a day when you've really just had enough of the winter blahs. J's favorite dream is the one in which it's summer: the sky opens up and it rains blueberries!

And finally, an older book I just discovered: Millions of Snowflakes (by Mary McKenna Siddals illustrated by Elizabeth Sayles)

It's a copyright of 1998 but the illustrations' washed-out colors and blurred edges remind me of books of my childhood. In this sweet story, a young girl and her dog delight in each little snowflake that falls. It's a simple counting book as well, and the text has a nice rhythm and rhyme that doesn't seem forced. "Three little snowflakes melt on my tongue. I eat them up. Yum! Yum! Yum!"

"Four little snowflakes tickle my chin. I laugh. I jump. I run. I spin."

Well, that's it. I hope you're inspired to check out a book or two and that you enjoy them as we have. Next up on the Read Your Way Through series is either going to be Bedtime or Eating (more specifically Picky Toddler Eating). Two biggies for most parents, right?! :)


Cheryl said...

Cute! These are some of my favorite winter reads! Oh!

Jenni said...

Katie, this is such a wonderful series! I look forward to reading the next ones. I learned about some new books here.

One of our winter favorites: Snow by Uri Shulevitz. I love the illustrations, simple, magical text and the fact that the boy was the one able to predict the heavy snows, not the grown-ups! In our house, we've read it so much that no one can say the word "snow" without someone else following with "...said boy with dog."

katie said...


Thanks for the share. I'm a little familiar with Uri Shulevitz (I think I read a chapter book of his), but I don't think I know his book Snow. I will definitely check it out.

I love developing the little jokes like yours with lines from a book. What a great connection to books and stories!