Rosy Levine and her cat, Moishe, are protesting the long Chicago winter by refusing to get up. So Mama tells a story from her own girlhood back in Minsk, where Rosy's grandmother, Beatrice, chased away the winter by cooking a delicious batch of blintzes (a recipe can be found on the final page). Working in the colors and motifs of Russian folk art, Berry (The Impudent Rooster) conjures a frosty but idyllic Old Country. The family's robust faces suggest those of matryoshka (nesting dolls), the cottage is tidy and quaint, Rosy's grandfather has a dashing Dr. Zhivago look going, and Beatrice is almost soignée in her patterned babushka and elaborate shawl. "Soon they sizzled so," says Manushkin's (Latkes and Applesauce) Mama of the blintzes, "I saw the ice on our windows melt." The blintzes' spring-evoking powers aren't confined just to the household: in Berry's whimsically imagined outside world, animals bask in radiant warmth, sunflowers burst forth from the earth, and music literally fills the air. Why, then, does this pretty, goodhearted book not achieve emotional traction? Perhaps it's because this clearly Jewish family feels denatured by the match-up with Russian folk styles. Except for their last name (and the cat's) and the occasional Yiddish inflections in Mama's speech ("Winters today-what arethey? A few little puffs and they're done") the characters could belong to any or no tradition. The illustrations concentrate on making the kitchen a magical place, but they skip the seasoning. Ages 5-up. (Jan.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
How Mama Brought the Springby Fran Manushkin, Holly Berry
One wintry morning, Mama tells Rosy a wondrous story about her own mama, Grandma Beatrice, who could bring spring to cold, cold Minsk by making magic in the kitchen. Together, mother and daughter mix batter and sing a song. Then the batter goes into the pan-pour, swirl, swizzle, FLIP! Soon Papa comes in from the cold and the family shares a special treat./i>… See more details below
One wintry morning, Mama tells Rosy a wondrous story about her own mama, Grandma Beatrice, who could bring spring to cold, cold Minsk by making magic in the kitchen. Together, mother and daughter mix batter and sing a song. Then the batter goes into the pan-pour, swirl, swizzle, FLIP! Soon Papa comes in from the cold and the family shares a special treat. (Hint: A recipe for blintzes is included!)
In this delightfully cozy tale, Holly Berry's stunning illustrations evoke charming folk traditions and the warm magic made in Mama's kitchen.
One snowy morning in Chicago, Rosy is reluctant to leave her warm bed. Her mother coaxes her to the kitchen by telling her a story about her own childhood in Belarus, where the winters were much longer and colder. Mama describes how her mother made spring come by concocting special blintzes for breakfast one day. At the end, Rosy and Mama settle down to make blintzes too, hoping, perhaps, that they will chase winter away as grandmother once did in Minsk. Illustrated with busy, colorful folklike illustrations resembling traditional Slavonic art, the book concludes with a recipe for blintzes. Although not a necessary purchase, children will appreciate this winning look at a different culture.
Judith ConstantinidesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 11.50(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.39(d)
- Age Range:
- 5 Years
Meet the Author
Fran Manushkin has an award-winning list of children’s books to her credit. She makes blintzes in her kitchen in New York City.
Holly Berry’s gorgeous illustrations have brought many picture books to life. She lives in Waldoboro, Maine.
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