When the Moon Comes
by Paul Harbridge, illustrated by Matt James
Tundra Books, 2017
A richly written story of how Canada’s inhospitably freezing winter sets in and how hockey brings life to the cold.
Cast in a magical glow, a village of children anticipate the upcoming winter fun in the cold, northern lands of Canada. When December’s sudden cold sends ducks south, they know to wait for the full moon, when the beaver flood (their winter lake) will be perfect. The day arrives and they tramp to the site, plow off the snow, uncover the ice, and the game is on! In the full moon’s light they play their hearts out, stopping only when the puck is lost. They return home and the afterglow returns with them.
A perfect story to experience the season’s first night on ice. Vivid descriptions take readers to this special time, “Our wet pants freeze solid in the cold, and we walk clanking like knights in armor, lances over our shoulders, hoods like helmets around our faces”. Filled with wonder, each glorious detail is highlighted as the children experience the magic. Perfect for hockey and late-night snow fans!
An endearing story, masterfully told. A good read for a cold day snuggle under the blankets
Sophia and Mrs. Goldman make knitted hats. Sophia, who tried to learn how to knit last year, makes pom-poms for the hats Mrs. Goldman knits. Ever generous, Mrs. Goldman gives away the hats off her own head to keep others warm. Sophia worries Mrs. Goldman will get sick. At last she decides to knit her a hat. She works on it night and day and when it is done it is bumpy and lumpy and holey! She can’t give it to Mrs. Goldman, it looks like a monster and will scare Mrs. Goldman’s dog. She thinks and thinks until at last her heart grows bigger and lighter, like a balloon. She knows exactly what to do to complete the hat for Mrs. Goldman.
Illustrator G. Brian Karas captures the struggles Sophia experiences and how she works though them to show her love to Mrs. Goldman.
Written in poems, readers learn how Ezra Jack Keats bravely pioneered books in 1962 about African-American kids’ experience in the city. Born of poor Jewish immigrant parents, Ezra faced prejudice early. Drawn to be an artist, his father supported Ezra’s interests as much as he could with leftover paints. Just when Ezra managed to get a scholarship for college, his dad died, and he had to earn a living to support his family. Enlisting in the Air Force for World War II, he made posters, booklets, charts, maps and art. After the war, he returned to the same prejudices and decided to rearrange his name. After he successfully illustrated a couple children’s books, the editors invited him to write and illustrate his own story. He created a story of Peter, a ‘brown-sugar boy’. In 1962, his book, The Snowy Day, led to six others.
The book takes you down a delightful lane sharing how Ezra came to do his books and how much kids enjoyed them. Illustrations used are similar to Ezra Jack Keats style. A great reminiscent look down memory lane for parents, a great introduction to a writer/artist for children.
The Christmas Boot
by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2016
A fresh tale of an old woman who lives alone in her ramshackle cabin in the snow-covered forest. While collecting firewood, she spots a black boot. She pulls it over her rag-wrapped foot. Though grateful, she wishes she had its mate, and in the morning it appears! Happy, she comments that if she had warm mittens, “I would be the happiest woman in the world,” and red mittens appear. Amazed, she wonders if the boot will give her a big fancy house and when she returns that day, one appears. She later opens her door to a man in a red suit with one boot. She returns the boot. He leaves behind boots and mittens and when she goes to bed, she discovers her heart’s desire, ‘someone to talk to.’ Beautifully illustrated in pencil and watercolors, this Santa tale will capture young hearts for Christmas.
Lisa Wheeler and Jerry Pinkney teamed up for a delightful, snuggle-under-the-blanket read and pure enjoyment.