Children's Literature - Jackie HechtkopfThis nostalgic trek back to a simpler era, when a young girl's world revolved around happy times with an extended family, has been cleverly arranged as an old-fashioned snapshot album. Thin white borders on a black background frame the square and rectangular illustrations. The reader is immediately swept into these photo-like memories of the cold winter morning when Ruthie and Papa trudged through blowing snow for a breakfast of blueberry pancakes at Uncle Phil's diner. "Think warm," Papa tells Ruthie, and she remembers the beach with all of her relatives dressed in bathing suits. The juxtaposition of weather so cold Papa's eyebrows get icy, against warm summer memories, suggests a fun game for all families to play in winter. The text is as lovely as the watercolor paintings, with language as lyrical as the mist shown around Uncle Phil's pancakes. Teachers should enjoy sharing this sweet book on blustery winter days. Children will enjoy re-reading it in a warm corner.
Kirkus ReviewsOn a wintry Sunday morning, Ruthie and her papa set out to walk nine blocks through a snow storm to have breakfast at Uncle Phil's diner. As they trudge through quiet streets, and mountainous snow drifts, they speculate on the feast Uncle Phil is preparing for his customers: piles of pancakes with blueberries preserved from the summer cottage in the mountains, rugelach, apple strudel, turnovers, sugar buns. To make the journey shorter and keep warm, Ruthie and her father chant lists of the delights awaiting them, and when they arrive, the diner is just as wonderful as they imagined. The illustrations set this in the late 1940s, with gentlemen wearing homburgs and bulky overcoats, and ladies decked out in their Sunday hats. All the watercolor illustrations are laid out as mounted snapshots in an old-fashioned photo album, with the text appearing as captions. A charming reminiscence. (Picture book. 5-7)
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