Well, winter is here…technically for a bit more. But, if Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Sam’s ground hog prognostications are TRUE, it’s to be an EARLY spring this year. They both had predictions that agreed!
But, if March does indeed come in like a lion and goes out like the proverbial lamb, Kevin Henkes “Winter is Here,” is a picture book read to send Old Man Winter off in style.
This author and illustrator have collaborated before in ‘When Spring Comes,” which may be the perfect read after “Winter is Here,” then, “In the Middle of Fall” is also a delight.
“When Spring Comes” has this Starred review:
“A must-have joyful seasonal title for the youngest listeners.”
School Library Journal
“In the Middle of Fall” has a great lesson as well:
“Offers a perfect opportunity to show how patience is rewarded in the real world.”
New York Times Book Review
But, back to “Winter is Here.” And, folks it’s EVERYWHERE…the whole white winter experience of falling flakes that drip from the eaves of houses, sit on rooftops, stick on tree limbs, blow with its howling winds through “crouching doorways” before it settles “…here and there softly, so softly.”
It alternates between a softness and a hardness that Laura Dronzek’s drawings captures completely in the leaves frozen in a pond…”underneath are like stars in glass.”
The entire routine of winter prep for the great outdoors and the loooong process of gearing up in boots, vests, hats, and coats; along with the scarves and mittens is modeled with young ones. They come complete with the necessary routine of snaps and zippers, of course!
Winter is a collection of both sights AND sounds that make “windows rattle’ and winds howl and yet, young readers will be happy to see that as quickly as it slips in and “stays and stays and stays, when it’s time to leave, “Winter shrinks bit by bit.”
It slows down
slipping down the street
around the corner
then moving on
out into the world
into the air, into…
Kevin Henkes’ narrative gives young readers a real feel for the silent and sometimes not so silent sounds of winter. Laura Dronzek’s accompanying bright and buoyant art dovetailing perfectly with it, gives young readers a mirror image of the winter they experience in all its effects, both on nature and their own day to day.
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