A snowfall. A lost mitten. A chance meeting. A winter day just right for new friendships and fun. The weather outside may be frosty, but Mary Quattlebaum’s lively story in poems and Hiroe Nakata’s joyful illustrations celebrate the good times to be had by all. So curl up with Winter Friends and delight in the simple pleasure of the ...
A lost mitten.
A chance meeting.
A winter day just right for new friendships and fun.
The weather outside may be frosty, but Mary Quattlebaum’s lively story in poems and Hiroe Nakata’s joyful illustrations celebrate the good times to be had by all. So curl up with Winter Friends and delight in the simple pleasure of the season!
I cold-toe creep/ to the window to see/ the covers heaped/ on each bare tree," begins the girl narrator of a series of clever, gentle poems that detail wintertime activities. Nakata's (Got to Dance) watercolors capture the girl peering out of an apartment window at a rosy dawn and "the world/ in its white nightclothes." The text appeals to all five senses, as the heroine listens to a snowplow "Large and loud... breaking the hush/ like a clock alarm." Although each poem can stand alone, together they form a simple story about a lost mitten. Quattlebaums's (Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns) meticulous text and Nakata's bright watercolors are stylish and elegantly concise. The collaborators uniquely reimagine traditional scenes: the girl sees an "Icicle Piano" hanging from a roof and watches her breath form "ghost horse[s]" that gallop away. The heroine's early discovery of a lost blue mitten gives the narrative dramatic force, and when she searches out its owner ("His shyly waving/ hand is bare"), she makes a new friend. By book's end, all the people the children have met gather in the girl's apartment for an impromptu cocoa party. In addition to capturing the feel of winter from a child's point of view, the book quietly celebrates citydwellers sharing warmth on a cold day. As the ending poem suggests, the city in winter is a place where the wind can whisper "a thousand tiny promises." Ages 2-5. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-In 16 brief poems, a girl perfectly describes a day spent making snow angels, watching-and listening to-icicles drip, finding a lost mitten, and making a new friend. From the first sight of new snow at dawn to the wind "whispering a thousand tiny promises" at night, the joy of discovery permeates the book. Each poem is different stylistically, which helps keep the text fluent. Even better, the child's voice is clear and believable. Nakata's inspired illustrations perfectly complement the effortless verse. Full of colorful coats and hats, evergreens and cardinals, they are a happy reminder that winter is not always gray and glum. A great addition to any picture-book collection, as well as a charming introduction to poetry.-Kara Schaff Dean, Needham Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
An uneven collection of poems tells the story of one winter day spent playing outside and making new friends. Quattlebaum's verses give voice to a young girl's observations, and many of them are evocative and believably childlike. She uses a variety of forms to good effect, including haiku and concrete poems. Occasionally, however, her rhymes seem forced (a dog says "yop" to rhyme with "stop") or sing-song-y. And some poems seem too sophisticated in vocabulary or concept to fit the child's narrative voice. Nakata's colorful watercolors extend the story considerably while also contributing to the sense of disconnect with the more complex poems. They show a cheerful blond preschooler (at the most-in some pictures she looks like a toddler) waking up on a snowy day, heading outside with her mother, finding a blue mitten, connecting with the young boy who lost it, sledding in the park and finishing the day with a cozy cocoa party. Bright colors and simple rounded shapes show up well against the snowy white backgrounds. Not essential, but fun. (Picture book/poetry. 5-8)
Mary Quattlebaum is the author of many books for young readers, including the companion novels Jackson Jones and Mission Greentop and Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns. She lives in Washington, D.C. Hiroe Nakata has illustrated numerous picture books, including Got to Dance by M. C. Helldorfer. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.