Cold Snap

( 1 )


It's snowy cold in the town of Toby Mills. The thermometer is sinking toward zero, and the icicle hanging from the nose of General Toby's statue is growing closer to the ground. The newspaper headline reads "COLD SNAP!" The people of the town are losing hope—and the feeling in their toes—until the mayor's wife saves the day with a toasty treat.

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It's snowy cold in the town of Toby Mills. The thermometer is sinking toward zero, and the icicle hanging from the nose of General Toby's statue is growing closer to the ground. The newspaper headline reads "COLD SNAP!" The people of the town are losing hope—and the feeling in their toes—until the mayor's wife saves the day with a toasty treat.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
…reflects a deep understanding of what is most likely to tickle the fancy of children…Priceman, who is perhaps best known for the lively illustrations of Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, brings the same antic energy to the chilly but cheery people of Toby Mills, and Spinelli alternates gags with tender moments.
—Susan Dominus
Publishers Weekly
Winter fun becomes a little less so for the denizens of Toby Mills when a deep freeze descends upon their quaint small town. The first cold day is filled with sledding and snowballs, and the icicle hanging from the nose of a town statue is barely there. By week’s end, the mercury has fallen steadily, shivering townsfolk have had their fill of trying to stay warm, and the icicle on General Toby’s nose has reached the ground. Luckily, the mayor’s wife comes up with a fiery, community-minded plan. From cocoa and sweaters to hot-water bottles, Spinelli (A Big Boy Now) catalogues all the ways people find warmth in winter; despite the harsh weather, her story has a nostalgic tone. Working in vibrant gouache, Priceman (Jazz Age Josephine) creates cheery winter wonderlands both indoors and out. Children in bright stocking caps and mittens whiz by on toboggans, and bundled-up customers sip “steamy soup and bubbling stew” at the local diner. She dots her fluffy snowscape with a rainbow of colorful houses, creating a cozy village that readers will long to visit, regardless of the forecast. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—As the temperature drops in the town of Toby Mills, children stop playing outside, pets need sweaters, and adults start complaining to the mayor. Churchgoers huddle together, and Pastor Pickthorn preaches in earmuffs and an overcoat. After the furnaces and trains freeze up and the town becomes known as the new North Pole, the mayor's wife invites everyone to a bonfire on top of T-Bone Hill. Before the citizens can forget the fun they had that night, the cold snap ends with the shattering of an icicle that has been growing off the nose of a well-known statue in town. Although the glittery snow on the book's cover doesn't extend to the illustrations inside, the cool hues and imagery convey memories of chilly winter days. Full-page art and spreads, rendered in gouache, focus on characters young and old in this racially diverse town. Busy scenes show myriad activities, with snow-covered shops and houses in the background. Miss Dove's Sugar-On-Snow Candy recipe is included. Perfect for cozy sharing on a frosty, frigid day.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews
A community caught under the pall of a weeklong cold snap comes together in this cozy, old-fashioned story that is high on both charm and appeal. The Toby Mills cold snap begins innocently enough on a Friday, with snow angels, sledding and an icicle on the nose of the statue of the town founder. On Saturday, soup and stew are popular menu items at the diner, and the icicle is chin-length. On Sunday, the heavily clothed townspeople shiver through church services. Wednesday is so cold that the mayor wears his robe and pink bunny slippers…at work. By Friday, the statue's icicle reaches the ground, along with everyone's patience. But the mayor's wife has just the solution--a warm winter surprise that brings out the best in everyone and makes them forget the cold. The quaint details in Spinelli's text that are brought to life in Priceman's gouache illustrations make this book stand out, giving it the air of an old-fashioned seek-and-find. "Franky Tornetta stopped whining about his itchy woolen socks and put on three pairs," and there he is in the picture, green socks layered over red and yellow. Boldly colored vignettes and spreads that depict the small-town setting and round-headed, pink-cheeked characters enhance the retro feel of the book. This may not be the most exciting or enthralling winter tale, but it is perfect for sharing during readers' own cold snaps--calming, reassuring, charming. (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher
A Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012

A Booklist Best of Children's Books 2012

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2012:
“A community caught under the pall of a weeklong cold snap comes together in this cozy, old-fashioned story that is high on both charm and appeal.”

Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2012:
“A delight for sharing, especially one-on-one.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375857003
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 408,767
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD790L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Spinelli

EILEEN SPINELLI is the author of almost 50 books for young readers, including the middle-grade novels Summerhouse Time and The Dancing Pancake for Knopf, as well as picture books like Miss Fox's Class Goes Green, The Perfect Thanksgiving, Hero Cat, and The Best Story. Eileen lives with her husband, author Jerry Spinelli, in eastern Pennsylvania.

MARJORIE PRICEMAN is the author-illustrator of How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A., as well as How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World. She has received two Caldecott Honor citations for Hot Air! The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride and Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin, written by Lloyd Moss. She lives in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 16, 2012

    A New Winter Favorite!

    It's really cold in the town of Toby Mills. At first the kids enjoyed playing in the snow, but the temperature keeps dropping and the townspeople are freezing. The icicle on the statue of the town's founder (General Toby)'s nose keeps growing each day and the temperature keeps dropping! The townsfolk are having problems, Mr. Moffat was stuck on the train for 2 hours because the doors froze shut. People are slipping on the ice. The chilly wind blew kids off the playground swings! As it gets colder and colder, the townspeople (and their pets) do everything they can to stay warm. The townspeople complain to the mayor, but what can he do? Then the mayor's wife hatches a plan to thaw everyone out. BRRR - I got chills just reading this book! I love the story about all the townspeople and how they deal with the COLD. The mayor's wife's solution was an awesome ending to the story. I won't give it away, but I will say that it was a great way to lift the townsfolk's spirits (and warm them up). The story makes you feel happy. :) The illustrations are amazing, you can feel the cold in them too! The picture I have of the cover of the book doesn't show how frosty it is. It is actually all sparkly and it gives it a very pretty effect. There is also a great recipe at the end of the book that you use snow to make...all I need now is snow for it - LET IT SNOW! I think kids 5+ would like this book! **NOTE I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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