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Chaucer's First Winter

Chaucer's First Winter

4.5 2
by Stephen Krensky, Henry Cole (Illustrator)

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Chaucer knows that bears are supposed to sleep through the winter. But it's much more fun to stay up and play!


Chaucer knows that bears are supposed to sleep through the winter. But it's much more fun to stay up and play!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cole's acrylic, pencil and ink illustrations contract winter's cool pallette with the warm hues of CHaucer and his friends, whose youthful exuberance bounds across the pages...Young readers will enjoy witnessing Chaucer's delight in the wonders of winter as well as his welcome return home."--Booklist

"Krensky's text shines in its use of dialogue."--Kirkus Reviews

"The standoued element of this clever book is Chaucer's naiveté and wonder as he experiences winter's offerings, and Krensky's descriptive writing neatly conveys his joy in exploration; young readers will readily identify with Chaucer's preference for ice skating over napping. Cole's acrylic, colored pencil, and ink illustrations...efectively showcase the wonders of the season."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
Chaucer, a young bear, enjoys the last few days of fall with his friends. His pals, Nugget and Kit, let him know that they will miss his company, since bears sleep through the winter. Unsure of this new discovery, Chaucer checks and confirms with his parents that bears sleep during the winter. When winter arrives, Chaucer is not able to sleep because he is filled with curiosity of the winter world. He explores the winter magic outside his family den where his friends are surprised to see him. Nugget and Kit enjoy introducing Chaucer to his first winter. Chaucer discovers many new experiences with his friends while in the background, his parents keep a watchful eye out on him. The soft, gentle, cool tones of the blue endpages provide a hint of the cooling weather from fall to winter. The illustrations reflect the fun and enjoyment that Chaucer has as he explores his first winter. The expressive facial features display the delight and warmth of the characters. The story provides a playful perspective on discovering features of the winter season. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This addition to the crowded field of winter, bear, and snow books lacks internal logic and breaks no new ground. When his friends tell Chaucer (a little bear) that they will miss him because he will sleep through the winter, and his parents tell him it will be good for him, Chaucer "[is] not convinced." Instead, he stays awake, experiencing snowball fights, icy ponds, icicles, and sliding down hills. When a big storm hits, he builds a snow fort to protect his friends and, predictably, when spring comes, he falls asleep. Oddly, his parents appear in the background of a number of illustrations, awake as well. Cole's cuddly cartoon animals, which sport scarves but no other clothing, are rendered in acrylic paint, colored pencil, and ink. The pictures are large and inviting, primarily done in full-bleed spreads, with spot art and single-page illustrations adding motion and interest. For a better book about a bear resisting hibernation, stick with Catherine Walters's When Will It Be Spring? (Dutton, 1998; o.p.). Leonid Gore's Danny's First Snow (S & S, 2007) and Ezra Jack Keats's The Snowy Day (Viking, 1962) do a better job of exploring the joys of winter.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
Kirkus Reviews
Chaucer, a little bear cub, decides not to hibernate so he can keep playing with his friends, a fox and a squirrel, all winter. They teach him about snowball fights, ice "skating" and sledding, but when a blizzard threatens, Chaucer intuitively builds a snow den to keep them all safe. The story is so full of holes it's practically mesh: What does Chaucer eat all winter? How is it he doesn't even get sleepy? What about his parents? Cole's illustrations depict a teddy-bear-like Chaucer disporting himself while his benignly smiling parents keep an eye on him in the background. Krensky's text shines in its use of dialogue, if not in its observance of natural history, and kids who can overlook its logical gaps will probably get a chuckle or two out of it. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
11.60(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)
AD530L (what's this?)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen Krensky is the author of more than a hundred books for children, including How Santa Got His Job (an ALA Notable Book) and Big Bad Wolves at School. He and his wife, Joan, live in Lexington, Massachusetts. You can visit him at StephenKrensky.com.

Henry Cole has written and illustrated more than fifty books for children, including Big Bug, And Tango Makes Three, Oink?, and Little Bo in France. A former elementary school teacher, he now writes and paints full time.

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Chaucer's First Winter 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this awesome book.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
With Fall nipping the air we know that Ol' Man Winter's on his way, so it's a perfect time to meet Chaucer, a cuddly little brown bear who is perplexed when his best friends, Nugget and Kit, say, "We're going to miss you a lot." Chaucer wanted to know where he'd be when they were missing him, and was told that he'd be sleeping because that's what bears did. His parents verified that fact for him - bears slept in the winter. However, Chaucer was not convinced, so when his parents settled down to snooze he went outside. Snow fascinated him, especially the flakes that landed on his nose and tongue. "It's magic," he said. His friends were very surprised to see him, and immediately decided that they had to teach him about snow. Well, save for slipping on the ice Chaucer loved everything about winter and so will young readers as they see it through this little bear's eyes. Krensky, the author of over 100 children's book, has penned an easy reading story that rolls joyfully along. Artist Henry Cole uses acrylic paint, colored pencil, and ink to create full page illustrations that are both tender and comical. - Gail Cooke