The Blizzard

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Shortly after Wright's (Pet Detectives) understated yet atmospheric tale opens, young Billy trudges through the snow to his one-room schoolhouse, sulking because an impending snowstorm has prevented his five cousins from coming to celebrate his birthday. When the snow blocks all the roads, threatening to strand the children at the schoolhouse, the teacher announces that they will all go and spend the night at Billy's farmhouse, the only one within walking distance. More than a dozen strong, the children and teachers form a hand-holding chain as they wade "through the great white sea." The kids all pitch in to help with the chores and then stage a snowball fight before sitting down to an impromptu feast. As their teacher plays the piano ("It's not every day I get a chance to play the piano!" she says gamely), the youngsters sing loudly, "drowning out the wind," then enjoy birthday cake (and two pies) before settling down to sleep. Equally successful at capturing the blustery blizzard outside and the warmth indoors, Himler's (A Picture Book of Lewis and Clark) lifelike, watercolor-over-pencil art conveys just the right homespun, folksy feel. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Billy is heartbroken when he learns that an impending storm will prevent his cousins from coming to his birthday party. A "thick curtain of snow" falls during the day, and Billy's dad comes to the one-room school to suggest that the kids and teacher come to his farm for the night. Clutching hands in a follow-the-leader fashion the children trudge through the blinding snow following their teacher and Billy's dad. At Billy's there is hot chocolate and a hearty dinner. After a rousing sing-along, Billy is overjoyed to share his birthday cake with his unexpected guests. Snuggled in bed that night with three other classmates, Billy reveals to his father "that December is a fine time for a birthday." Brimming with nostalgia, the heartwarming story harkens back to a simpler time and old-fashioned neighborliness. Himler's watercolors and gouache over pencil are impressive. He flawlessly shifts his palette between the blues and grays of the raging storm and the warm brown and yellow tones of the cozy interior. The warmth of this story will take the chill off a winter day. 2003, Holiday House, Ages 5 to 10.
—Beverley Fahey
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-After worrying that bad weather will ruin his birthday, Billy gets a surprise when a blizzard forces his schoolmates and teacher to spend the night at his home. A nostalgic look at a special celebration, enhanced by warm watercolor-and-gouache illustrations. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When his cousins call to say they can't make Billy's birthday because of all the snow, he's sorely disappointed and wishes he had a July birthday like his sister. Just like any other ordinary day, the two walk to their one-room schoolhouse. Coal gets shoveled into the stove, the lamps get filled, and the children learn their lessons. Then a blizzard hits and Mr. Carter arrives to say the road is filled with snow. When faced with this news, Miss Bailey decides to take all the children to Billy and Mae's house, the only one close enough to walk to in the storm. Once there, the children all pitch in to do the chores and get the food ready. A snowball fight and songfest are the perfect way to round out the evening-along with some birthday cake. Himler's watercolor illustrations are the perfect medium for portraying the time period's furniture, household goods, and clothing. A feel-good story of neighbor helping neighbor, and a great way to learn a bit about rural life before automobiles. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823419814
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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