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Children's LiteratureOur narrator, who is "an old lady" now, still feels her toes tingle when snow has fallen, just as they did when she was young. She watches three young girls playing outside in the snow, just as she used to with her sisters Rita and Mae. Remembering how they had made real lemon ices in the snow with sugar and lemon juice from lemons their mother cut for them, she cuts lemons and invites the girls to make lemon ices too. Then, tired and cold and missing her faraway sisters, she goes to bed. What a surprise she has when the girls arrive at her door to wish her a Happy Birthday. Then the little girls present her with another surprise, for her best birthday in her eighty years. This rather sentimental tale, perhaps more for adults than children, is appropriately visualized in loosely painted watercolor and gouache scenes which incorporate collage pieces for patterned clothes. These add individuality to the wearers and esthetic sparkle to the fanciful tale. A small black dog, unmentioned in the text, intrudes into every scene, also contributing to the light-hearted fun. Mai-Wyss effectively manages to blend the two sets of sisters into a jolly company. 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz