A Redwall Winter's Tale

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Overview

On the last day of autumn, the Redwallers are preparing for some special guests: a troupe of traveling players who promise an evening of entertainment in exchange for a grand feast. The merriment continues far into the evening, until it's time for sleepy Dibbuns to be tucked in their beds with a story: the tale of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide, who comes on the first night of winter, bringing snow across the land.

As they did in The Great Redwall Feast, Christopher Denise's ...

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Overview

On the last day of autumn, the Redwallers are preparing for some special guests: a troupe of traveling players who promise an evening of entertainment in exchange for a grand feast. The merriment continues far into the evening, until it's time for sleepy Dibbuns to be tucked in their beds with a story: the tale of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide, who comes on the first night of winter, bringing snow across the land.

As they did in The Great Redwall Feast, Christopher Denise's warm pastel illustrations and Brian Jacques' magical words take young readers straight to the heart of Redwall. Fans, young and old, will be enchanted by this delightful winter's tale, spun by a master storyteller.

For ages 9 and above.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Fans of Brian Jacques's anthropomorphic Redwall series, which features a world inhabited by furry friends and woodland warriors, will no doubt delight in this whimsical tale of seasonal change. This is a more peaceful Redwall tale -- there are no battles being waged, and wordplay takes the place of swordplay -- but the creatures of Redwall are as intriguing as ever as they celebrate the last day of autumn with a festival of feasting and entertainment.

The skies are bleak and the air is chilled, but the residents of Redwall are in a cozy, celebratory mood. The abundance and beauty of autumn is at an end, but the arrival of winter, with its soft clouds of snow and pristine beauty, is eagerly anticipated. To celebrate, the creatures have put together a huge banquet of Redwall treats, including barley dumplings, chestnut bread, candied acorns, and celery cheese. An air of merriment infuses the festively decorated halls of the Abbey as the creatures eat their fill and enjoy the antics of a troupe of visiting entertainers -- hares, mousemaids, moles and otters who sing, dance, and juggle for their meals.

When the night's festivities are done, everyone snuggles into bed in anticipation of the arrival of the great white Snow Badger. Every beast must fall asleep quickly, for it is rumored that the Snow Badger will retreat in haste, taking his winter wonderland with him if anyone witnesses his magic. But a young, trouble-seeking mole named Bungo awakens shortly after the Snow Badger arrives, catching the Old Lord of Wintertide in the act. Will the young mole's impudence ruin winter for the creatures of Redwall? Or will the season of ice skating, tobogganing, and snowballing come as expected?

A smattering of poetry, a smidgen of dialect, and an anagram riddle provide plenty of wordplay in this heartwarming tale. Christopher Denise's colorful illustrations -- autumn scenes infused with rich, earthy colors and winter scenes that manage to look warm and inviting despite a bleak and chilly landscape -- add to the fun. This is Redwall at its celebratory best. (Beth Amos)

Publishers Weekly
In A Redwall Winter's Tale, a picture-book follow-up to The Great Redwall Feast, a troupe of traveling entertainers visits the abbey to commemorate the arrival of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide. But a fanciful bedtime story leaves Bungo the molebabe wondering what is real and what is fantasy. Christopher Denise's illustrations capture the waning sunlight and complement the alternating prose and verse. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Many of Redwall's most famous characters appear in this illustrated tale that is perfect for reading aloud while gathered around a cozy fire. It is the last day of autumn, and guests are expected at Redwall Abbey. A traveling troupe of performers appears and delights the abbey inhabitants during a great winter feast. One of the performers charms the children with a bedtime story about the Snow Badger, who brings Wintertide. The Snow Badger visits during the evening, blanketing the area with snow perfect for a day's frolicking¾soon snowballs fly. Sections of the tale are told in verse, interspersed with prose¾often written in dialect that makes it delicious to read aloud. The illustrations evoke the fun and friendships well. The tale stands alone; no prior knowledge of the Redwall saga is required so it is perfect for younger readers who may later graduate to the full-length books. 2001, Philomel/Penguin Putnam, $18.99. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Dr. Judy Rowen
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-The inhabitants of Redwall Abbey are celebrating Autumn's final day and the coming of Winter. When the entertaining and feasting are over, the Abbeybabes are taken to the nursery dormitory and told the story of how Snow Badger comes to earth every winter to coat the ground with snow. Only Bulbrock Badger still believes in him, and wears a parchment scroll around his neck as the souvenir of their meeting long ago. Early the next morning, as Snow Badger is just finishing coating the windowpanes with frost, Baby Bungo pokes his head out to meet him. Of course no one believes the mole-babe, until Bulbrock notices that he now also wears a parchment scroll around his neck. Solving the riddle on it will prove Snow Badger's existence. The narration disconcertingly bursts into rhyme often, sometimes with poetic asides and sometimes just continuing the story. Some of the creatures speak in dialect, which would be wonderful to hear but is difficult to read. Denise's illustrations are reminiscent of the color plates in the original book, done by Troy Howell, but with major changes. The earth-toned palette is cranked up to maximum brightness, the focus is softer and less detailed, and all of the creatures look fat and happy, perhaps reflecting a more peaceful time. It is hard to imagine the audience for this book. It is too long, rambling, and descriptive for preschool storyhours or beginning readers, although it could be shared as a lap-book with one or a few children. Older children who love the "Redwall" series (Philomel) for the excitement, conflict, and danger will be disappointed to find none of those elements here. Of course, true fans will need to read it, if only because it's here.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399233463
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: Redwall Series
  • Pages: 72
  • Age range: 6 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: AD620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian  Jacques
Brian Jacques has had many professions, including longshoreman, truck driver, and folk singer. In addition to his vast readership, Brian has earned a devoted army of listeners with his weekly radio program on BBC Merseyside. For this recording Brian himself leads a full cast of actors in bringing to life the advantures of the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey.

Biography

The drawings that open the chapters in a Redwall book may look sweet, but Brian Jacques' fantasies are not for the faint of heart. Adventure, peril, betrayal, and downright slaughter abound in these hefty novels about the creatures -- mice, hares, moles, badgers, and sparrows -- who inhabit Redwall Abbey in medieval England.

Brian Jacques has had a life nearly as exciting as that of some of his characters: After dropping out of school in his native Liverpool at the age of 15, he traveled the world as a merchant seaman, visiting ports from America to Asia. Upon returning to England, he held a wide variety of jobs, from railway fireman to boxer among them. In the 1960s, he and his two brothers formed the Liverpool Fishermen, a folksinging group. Jacques also tried his hand as a playwright, producing several stage plays -- Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, Scouse – about native Liverpudlians.

The Redwall stories, which were to earn him legions of fans, were born out of his time as a volunteer storyteller at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool. Jacques maintains that his detailed writing style was developed here; he was forced to be as descriptive as possible, so his audience would be able to experience his stories as if they could see. He created the first Redwall story as a gift to the children of the school, but never intended to publish it commercially. Fortunately for his many fans on both sides of the Atlantic, a friend sent his first manuscript to a publisher, and the rousing series took off in England in 1986 and in the U.S. the following year with Redwall.

Jacques takes issue with the notion that his books are "fantasy" fiction, a description that he says "smacks of swords and sorcery and dungeons and dragons. . . . I like to think of my books as old-fashioned adventures that happened ‘Once upon a time, long ago and far away.'"

The novels appeal generally to an audience of nine- to fifteen-year-olds, but have admirers both younger and older. The tales pivot on the conflict between good and evil; good invariably triumphs. Indeed, morality issues are always clear in Jacques' books: cruelty, greed, and avarice are eradicated in all forms; bravery, loyalty, and resourcefulness reap rewards aplenty. When it comes to characters, though, Jacques is less simplistic: Martin the Warrior, who through his courage and cunning rose to become the noblest hero in the land, is given to impetuousness, and the miscreant Cluny has both good and bad sides, a la Long John Silver.

For female readers, the Redwall books can be extra satisfying. His female creatures are as adventurous as the males: they don't faint into their male counterparts' arms, but explore, swashbuckle, and rescue on their own. In Mariel of Redwall (1991), the courageous girl mousechild Mariel, thrown overboard by the Gabool, leader of the evil pirate Searats, exacts her own brand of revenge.

Jacques' usually swift pace sometimes comes to a slogging halt with extraordinarily detailed descriptions of the legendary Redwall feasts, right down to the last acorn and drop of buttercup and honey cordial. But the author is redeemed by his delicate interweaving of subplots, his memorable menagerie, his rollicking sense of adventure, and his ability to transport the reader into an entirely different world, a world that, as one critic for The New York Times put it, "is both an incredible and ingratiating place, one to which readers will doubtless cheerfully return."

Good To Know

Brian Jacques wrote his books in longhand or on a manual typewriter, or, if the weather permits, outdoors.

Despite his success as an author, Jacques continued to broadcast the weekly radio show, Jakestown, that he hosted before he wrote the Redwall books.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      June 15, 1939
    2. Place of Birth:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Date of Death:
      February 5, 2011
    2. Place of Death:
      Liverpool, England
    1. Education:
      St. John’s School, Liverpool, England
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    just like The Great Redwall Feast its adorable and has the trouble making Bungo. One of my favorite pictures is when the Snow Badger picked up little Bungo. And dont you think its clever how the Snow Badger sent Snow Hare's and they became snow flakes.Also wheres Mattimeo again? i hoped that he would be in either The Great Redwall Feast or in this one, to bad. Well i hope you enjoy the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2004

    A redwall winter's tale

    The illustrations are so adorable, the story is so ingenious, and Brian even puts poetry and a riddle in. Even though this book was meant for younger readers, I loved it. I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2001

    Redwall!

    Redwall Rules. From Bella of Brockhall to Russano the Wise, from Abbess Germaine to Abbess Mhera (Mhera from Taggerung) this is to be a wonderful book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2001

    Nick's Review

    There is no way this book could be something other than great if it is half the as good as the other redwall books. Do to the fact that this book is to be so good, if I were you, I would order it now to make sure I didn't have to wait a minute longer than I should to get it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2001

    this will be great

    this book, though not out yet, is destined to take it's place among the other great redwall books. the poetry is clever, and the illustrations perfect. if you are a true redwall fan like me, your collection of books is not complete without a redwall winter's tale

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    Posted November 10, 2008

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    Posted October 30, 2008

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    Posted February 28, 2010

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    Posted February 28, 2010

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