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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: snow, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Illustration Inspiration: Jim Arnosky, Creator of Frozen Wild

Artist and naturalist Jim Arnosky has been honored for his overall contribution to literature for children by the Eva L. Gordon Award and the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for nonfiction. His latest book is "Frozen Wild."

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2. Winter is Coming

by Addy Farmer

About two minutes ago, the Summer Holidays stretched out like this ...

not a computer in sight
There were delicious plans afoot: After a suitable number of days lolling in bed followed by jumping about in the garden, me and my family would go on holiday, read masses, get into all sorts of scrapes, rescue anything that stood in the way and actually climb a mountain. Not only that but I would have loads and loads of time to WRITE.

Moominpapa could write whenever he wanted to
Inevitably, it didn't turn out like that. I will not bore you, dear reader, with the list of what got in the way of my perfectly reasonable expectations but it was mostly to do with not living in the 1950s. I did write, in snatches, but it was mostly editing and revising. It's good to have the quiet head-space for that full-on flowing and original story writing.

Never mind because in the end reading is the stuff of writing.

The media would have us think that Summer is a time for reading and I did read alot although not on the beach. But I don't think that I read anymore than I do the rest of the year.  Radio 4 even had a brief say about how summer reading was no different to winter reading on the daily commute, really. Most of my summer reading has been a writer new to me, Frances Hardinge. I whipped through the brilliant, 'Verdigris Deep' and 'The Lie Tree' and 'Cuckoo Song'. I've just started, 'A Face of Glass'. These are cracking good stories and that is what I like to read any time of the year.

But I do like Winter and stories set in winter time. So, let's just conveniently forget the intervening hufflepuff-like season of Autumn and spring to contemplation of Winter stories. Is there a difference between these and those set in Summer? Perhaps, we might personify them. Summer is perky with arms-wide and smiling where Winter is dark, hunched and dour. One camps outdoors, one skulks inside. One looks out at the world, the other looks inwards ... well, you get the idea.

Winter is coming (say it like a cinema trailer announcement). Put that way, it sounds scary which to my mind is not a bad thing. Traditionally, Winter is associated with death and hibernation. It is when the flowers fold and the garden hides. The cold makes your fingers freeze and your bones ache; it requires effort to keep warm and keep moving.

Hope you're wearing a vest, Gandalf
So, let's look at the coming of Winter another way. 'Winter is coming!' Woo-hoo. The days will be short and the nights will be long and the fire will be flickering and there are stories to be told and there will be

Winter Time by Robert Louis Stevenson

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Here, in A Child's Garden of Verses, Stevenson sums up all the good stuff I used to love as a child about Winter. it could be the comfort of playing outside on a snapping-cold day, then the glorious comfort of warming yourself, not to mention the breath-taking beauty of a landscape transformed by SNOW.

Where the dickens did all this snow come from?!
Snow. I can't say it enough. Who cannot love a fresh fall of snow? To read Dickens you'd think it was as deep and regular as the seasons themselves. But frozen winters with frost fairs were a thing of the medieval past. It seems that Dickens was being nostalgic, looking back to a time when snow was more likely in winter. Snow was very much part of his winter story, A Christmas Carol. It made Victorian London almost cosy and charming.

" The darkness and the mist had vanished with it, for it was a clear, cold winter day, with snow upon the ground ... the quick wheels dashing the hoar-frost and snow from off the dark leaves of the evergreens like spray"

I like that C.S Lewis added a touch of Victorian London to Narnia. Not only that but the snow makes it beautiful. I want to go there. The snow plays a more sinister role here; it is seen as stilling time and freezes life to its essentials. The land waits for Winter to end (spoiler - it does).

Guess where this is

Snow can blanket and muffle and make the world a silent place. Time stands still and you are the only person in this white world.

"Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards." Dylan Thomas, A Child's Christmas in Wales
Snow can bring danger from creatures which form part of a wild and distant past.

Mad as a box of frogs

Snow can be a truly scary person, The White Queen in Narnia or The Snow Queen. In the story of Kay and Gerda we see how the snow forces Gerda to be astonishingly brave as she searches for her friend across a harsh, frozen landscape. The weather provides the obstacle to be overcome. It tests her friendship. The Snow Queen becomes Winter personified and is defeated by the warmth of Gerda's love.

She looks almost cuddly

Marcus Sedgewick seems very fond of setting his novels in places where snow is a given. They are places of vampires and bears and treacherous ice. If you stay outside too long you will die and not only from the cold.

do not cuddle this bear

The best cover in the world
Revolver is like a snow dome: a taut thriller trapped in a world of cold. A perfect snow storm.

In After the Snow, by S.D Crockett the snow provides the dystopian landscape where everything has gone wrong. Where the odds against our hero are already stacked high and made worse by the deep snow she finds herself wading through. Here the snow is bleak and unforgiving. 

I'm gonna sit here in my place on the hill behind the house. Waiting. And watching. Ain't nothing moving down there. The valley look pretty bare in the snow. Just the house grey and lonely down by the river all frozen. 
The snow can force you inside and send you mad or make you see things that might or might not be there. It is the perfect setting for a ghost story as Dark Matter by Michele Paver so brilliantly and shiveringly demonstrates. The snow blinds the hero, Jack. “How odd, that light should prevent one from seeing.” he says. The snow controls his movements and eventually his mind and makes him see what should not be there. In the end, the snow subdues him.

Ah, but it's not all teen-angst gloom and doom. At the younger end, there are so many ways for snow to be the cheery, comforting, exciting and playful.
Summer fading, winter comes
Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
Window robins, winter rooks,
And the picture story-books.
Picture Books in Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson

Come in! It's lovely and warm inside!
The Finn Family Moomintroll sensibly hibernates during the Winter but when Moomintroll awakes during their long sleep, he finds a beautiful, alien world. It is silent and dark and scary to be alone but soon he meets Little My and Too-ticky and the snowy fun begins. But the Moomins being the Moomins this wintry world remains a haunting and challenging place.

Bear and Hare:Snow! by Emily Gravett celebrates the joy to be had with friends in the snow. 
We've all done it
One of my favourite friendships is that of Melrose and Croc by Emma Chichester. Here is the cold of no friends ...

.... before the warmth of friendship found and all wrapped up in Christmas - lovely.

I leave the obvious to last and I'll whisper it, Christmas. It seems that no Christmas is complete without snow. I agree. I want Christmas to have deep and crisp and even snow ...
so we can make snowmen.

So never mind that it's the end of Summer, Winter is coming and it brings ...


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3. throwback....

to last WINTER and these two cuties....they put me in my HAPPY place! :)
'cause this girl has had ENOUGH of this rainforest-like climate and disgustingly high levels of humidity. i just was not made to handle such conditions. perhaps that is why i am known as the "ice princess" amongst my friends. WINTER is MY season! 

ahh, Mr. WINTER...how i miss you so. your pristine beauty from freshly fallen SNOW to clean, cold temps. i await you anxiously, my dear friend....overly anxiously perhaps....i digress. and with that being said...

these two bits of adorableness known as Alaska and her little buddy, Aspen can be found FOR SALE here. they are ORIGINAL PAINTINGS, NOT REPRODUCTIONS.

however, since i like to offer up choices, reproductions and other bits of deliciousness with these two featured can be found here and here as well.

why not get yourself in the WINTER spirit now?! i surely am every. single. day.

{i need to write/illustrate a kids book about the wonders of winter, i'm thinking....}

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4. Melt


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5. Half Past Winter, by Ginger Nielson | Book Review

Half Past Winter is an adorable tale of two bear cubs and their adventure to find winter’s first snow. They grow impatient in their den when no snow comes and decide to explore until they find snow.

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6. Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard, by Janice Dean | Book Review

Freddy the Frogcaster and the Big Blizzard does an excellent job of creating a creative way to get kids interested in learning about the science of weather.

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7. Thematic Book List - Clouds, Rain, and Snow

My last thematic list focused on water and the water cycle. It did not include books on clouds or any form of precipitation. These things are integral components in the water cycle and are necessary for returning water to the earth's surface.

Here's an annotated list of books that examine clouds and precipitation and the role they play in the water cycle and weather. You'll also find books here that celebrate rain and snow with lush images and sensory descriptions.

Nonfiction Picture Books
The Cloud Book (1984), written and illustrated by Tomie de Paola - This text focuses on different types of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, stratus, and other combinations of these three main types. The cloud types are described and presented with illustrated examples. Also included are myths about clouds and popular sayings inspired by clouds and the weather.

Clouds (2008), written by Anne Rockwell and illustrated by Frane Lessac - This book in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series describes clouds, what they are made of, what they are called, and much more. The simple, engaging text in this stage 1 book makes the content accessible to a range of age groups.  

Vapor, Rain, and Snow: The Science of Clouds and Precipitation (2011), written by Paul Fleisher  - At nearly 50 pages, this book is filled with information about clouds and precipitation. It opens by explaining that "Weather is what happens in the air around us. But a lot of weather is really about water." In four chapters Fleisher describes water in the air, clouds, precipitation, and atmospheric phenomena like rainbows, halos, and sun dogs.

Down Comes the Rain (1997), written by Franklyn Branley and illustrated by James Graham Hale - This book in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series follows the rain as it falls, evaporates, condenses, and falls again.

It's Raining! (2014), written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons - A perfect book for young readers, Gibbons explores rain with simple definitions, basic facts, and interesting bits of information. Readers will learn what rain is, where it comes from, and why it is necessary. Includes maps that show annual rainfall amounts around the world and information on storms.

Raindrops Roll (2015), by April Pulley Sayre - Gorgeous photographs accompany a lyrical text about water in the form of rain. Though the text is economical, it conveys a sense of wonder and beauty. Back matter examines the science of rain and includes facts about clouds, raindrop shapes, and the "abilities" of raindrops (hydrating insects, magnifying objects, and more). with facts about cloud formation, the shapes of raindrops and what they’re capable of—magnifying their surroundings, reflecting light, hydrating insects and more. Also included is a reading list for learning more.

Splish! Splash! A Book About Rain (2003), written by Josepha Sherman and illustrated by Jeff Yesh - This book uses fun pictures and simple vocabulary to explain where rain comes from and why rain is important to the earth and to humans. Sherman also delves into what happens when too much rain (flooding) or not enough rain (drought) occurs.

It's Snowing! (201), written and illustrated by Gail Gibbons - A perfect book for young readers, Gibbons explores snow with simple definitions, basic facts, and interesting bits of information. Readers will learn what snow is, how it forms, regions where snow falls, and how to prepare for a snowstorm. Also includes information on the ways in which snow falls to the ground, such as sleet, flurries, and a winter storm.

Snowflake Bentley, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrated by Mary Azarian - This Caldecott Medal winner tells the true story of Wilson Bentley, a farmer who spent the better part of his life studying and photographing snowflakes. Willie's story is told from his childhood through his death. Accompanying the biography are a series of sidebars that contain additional facts about Bentley. The last page of the book contains a photo of Bentley at his camera (the same one at the top of the Wilson Snowflake Bentley home page), a quote about his love for photography, and three of his renowned snowflake images. This is the story of a remarkable man who pushed the limits of science and technology to create groundbreaking images of snowflakes. If the book inspires an interest in further study, you can view a number of his amazing photographs at The Bentley Snow Crystal Collection.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder (2009), written by Mark Cassino with Jon Nelson  - Mark Cassino is a fine art and natural history photographer. Jon Nelson is a teacher and physicist who studies ice crystals and clouds. Together they have given us a stunning volume on the formation of snow. A perfect mixture of art and science, Cassino's photographs are accompanied by clearly written text that explains a very complex process in terms kids will understand. Readers will learn what snow is made from, how it forms, what shapes it takes, and more! Photos of snow crystals are included with a comparison of the enlarged images to a snow crystal of actual size. In the back matter you will find directions on how to catch snow crystals and examine them. For more ideas for extending the text, download a teacher's guide for this title at the Chronicle web site.

Snow is Falling (2000), written by Franklyn Branley and illustrated by Holly Keller - This book in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series describes the benefits and importance of snow, as well as the danger of too much of it. Back matter includes experiments and activities for cold, snowy days.

The Secret Life of a Snowflake: An Up Close Look at the Art and Science of Snowflakes, written by Kenneth Libbrecht  - The author of this book is a physicist at Caltech known for his passion for snow crystals. In this book aimed at 9-12 year olds, but appropriate for a much broader (and older) audience,  Libbrecht teaches readers what snow crystals and snowflakes are, where they come from, and how these amazing structures are created out of thin air. His own photographs beautifully complement the text.

All snowflakes begin with water vapor in air, but as they begin their journey toward the ground, changes in temperature and humidity determine their exact and unique shape. Libbrecht answers questions that many children (and adults) are apt to ask, such as "Why is snow white when the crystals that comprise snow are clear?" Libbrecht's web site, SnowCyrstals.com, provides a wealth of images and even more information for those readers who finish the book and want to learn more. I recommend starting with the Snowflake Primer and the Snow Crystal FAQs.

Poetry Books
One Big Rain: Poems for a Rainy Days (2014), compiled by Rita Gray and illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke - This collection of 20 poems about rain through the seasons opens with a haiku about the season. Four additional poems follow. Gray includes eight haiku, two poems translated from other languages (Norwegian and Spanish), works by well-known poets like Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, and Eve Merriam, as well as works by poets whose names may not be familiar to readers. The illustrations in muted browns, grays, blacks and greens beautifully capture the mood and subject of the poems. The book opens with an introduction that describes rain through the seasons. Following the introduction is a note about haiku translations. Adapted from a work by poet and translator William J. Higginson, the emphasis is not on counting syllables, but on finding the best rhythm for the haiku in the new language.

Snow, Snow: Winter Poems for Children (2005), written by Jane Yolen with photographs by Jason Stemple - This collection of 13 beautifully crafted poems, inspired by stunning photographs of snowy woods, skiers, a snowmobile, and much more, will lead readers to see snow the wonder of snow and maybe even view it in a new way. One of my favorite poems in the collection begins "Somebody painted/The trees last night,/ Crept in and colored them/White on white."

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening (2001), written by Robert Frost and illustrated by Susan Jeffers - Frost's poem is beautifully imagined in this picture book adaptation.

Picture Books
There are many, many books about snow and rain, and far too many to mention here. Instead, I am sharing my very favorite on each subject.
Listen to the Rain (1988), written Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by James Endicott - This is a lyrically written and gorgeously illustrated book that celebrates the beauty, the mystery, the sounds, and the silences of the rain.

Snow (1998), written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz - Even though the adults believe that it will not snow, a boy and his dog don't give up hope. This is a Caldecott honor book that beautifully portrays the transformation of a city when it snows.

Online Resources
For additional resources, consider these sites.

That's it for this essential part of the water cycle. Since we've hit upon important components of weather, that will be the topic of the next list. See you soon!

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8. Picture Book Roundup - January 2015 edition

Some new picture book favorites!  A fairytale, a toddler book, and poetic nonfiction.  Enjoy!

A beautiful princess, a pony, a red umbrella and red tights.  This is the girls' empowerment fairytale that you've always wanted. Be who you are; love who you are. If the illustrations in this one do not enchant you, you have no magic in your soul.  (So glad that this one made the leap across the pond!)

While tow truck and fire truck are out performing rescues, mild-mannered and bespectacled garbage truck "just collects the trash." It takes a snowstorm and an attachable snow plow to turn him into Supertruck! Simply told and simply illustrated for a young audience, this is a story of doing your job simply because it's the job that needs to be done. I like it! 

Note: Despite its snowstorm theme, this one should be popular for the 2015, "Every Hero Tells a Story" summer reading theme.

A beautifully photographed, poetic look at rain - what it does and where it lands and how we see it. Simple, gorgeous science,

It thuds.
Makes mud.
It fills.
It spills.

Have a great week, and don't forget to check out the posts on the Nonfiction Monday blog.

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9. warm winter wishes...

crystal~graphite on bristol
©the enchanted easel 2015
love, crystal


{little crystal is 2015's first drawing....and she has two friends to join her....COMING SOON! :)}

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10. Snow Festival Day 4: The Story of Snow (and some Affirmation Snowflakes!)

snow booklist

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino celebrates the magic of snow through science, math, language arts, music, and visual art activities.  The Story of Snow uses a brilliant balance of incorporating photographs of crystals, pen & ink drawings, text for 3 different reading levels, and uncovering the mystery of snow. It serves equally as both a fascinating non-fiction journey and an inspiring nature art book. For those who love snow, The Story of Snow opens the door of awe and wonder of the magnificent wet stuff and takes us on a personal journey.

Something To Do

Paper Snowflakes

paper snowflakes

When I think of snowflakes, I think of being a small child and cutting my very own out of paper. As a family we’ve spent countless hours doing the very same thing.

A Resource of snowflake patterns:

For small children who are learning how to use scissors or have just learned how to use scissors go to the snowflake creator here.

Here are eight simple snowflake patterns for ages 7 and up.

Here are 5 snowflake patterns good for ages 8 and up.

Here are 10 complex snowflake patterns for ages 9 and up.

Affirmation Snowflakes:: Letters from the Sky


Affirmation Snowflakes:: Letters from the Sky

snowflake affirmations

The Story of Snow ends with a quote from Japanese scientist Ukichiro Nakaya: “A snow crystal is a letter from the sky.”

Scientifically this is a true statement. Each snowflake will tell you what the temperature was when it was formed. How much moisture is there, and how it grew as it froze etc. All of the these great details are in The Story of Snow.

The ides of messages or letters from the sky got us thinking,wouldn’t it be great if we could catch snowflakes and save them for later ?

If we could, what would our messengers from the sky tell us?

Cut a few snowflakes from the instructions and templates above. Open up each snowflake and write a little message on it. I’ve given you some ideas below. Next fold them back up and put them in a jar. Each day pull out a snowflake and read it’s special message. You can also do this in reverse. Each day cut a snowflake and write a message then put it in the jar to pull it out again one day.

Affirmation Ideas:

  • I am awesome
  • I am very intelligent.
  • Learning is fun and exciting.
  • I have many gifts and talents.
  • I am unique and special.
  • My family, friends, and teachers love me for who I am.

Telling Time With Snow

snow clock

  • 12 x 12 white or  off white scrap book paper or a paper plate.
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Puffy Paint
  1. If using the scrap book paper, trace a dinner sized plate onto the paper.
  2. Starting with the number 12 and then moving onto 1, draw the numbers like a clock in the circle.
  3. To make a 6 sided snowflake we need to draw 6 guide lines. Draw one line from 12 to 6, another from 10 to 4, and the last line from 8 to 2.
  4. Using puffy paint in the color of your choice.  Draw over the guide lines. Cover the ends of the lines in the center by making a little circle of puffy paint. Make a triangle at the top of each one and then some snowflake like designs working towards just under the triangle.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Hang on the wall, bulletin board, or fridge. Now we can honestly say it’s snow time.

Catch Your Own Snow Crystals

snow crystals

“Once a snow crystal lands, it starts to wither away. Snow crystals can’t keep growing after they fall from the clouds and soon breaks down. This means if you want to see a snow crystal, you need to catch it in the air,….”

You will Need:

  • A piece of dark cardboard of foam board. It should be about 8 x 10 inches. Make sure the cardboard is stiff enough to stay flat when held by one edge.
  • A magnifying glass so you can see the snow crystals better.

During the Snow Crystal Catching

  1. Put the cardboard or foam outside for at least ten minutes before catching snow. The board needs to be cold or else the snow will melt the second it hits the board. Make sure the board stays cold and dry.
  2. Gripping the board by one edge, hold the board out flat and watch as snow lands on it. If it’s snowing hard stand under a porch or patio so less snow falls on the board.
  3. Look at the smaller pieces of snow that land on the board. This is where you’ll find individual snow crystals. Use your magnifying glass to look at them closely.
  4. Once you’ve looked at them, shake off the board and try again.

Snow Storm in a Jar

snowstorm in a jar

What happens when you get a lot of snowflakes? A snow storm. Doing all of these snowflake activities had a wishing for a very large snow storm. Since one isn’t in the neighborhood, we decided to make one in the kitchen instead.

What you’ll need: 

  • A tall or fat glass jar or something similar
  • Baby oil
  • White paint
  • Water
  • Iridescent glitter
  • Alka Seltzer

Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with baby oil. In a bowl mix together very warm water and white paint to make white water. In a bowl place enough warm water that will almost fill the top of the jar. Add white paint to the warm water and stir well.  Once mixed pour the white water into the jar. Sprinkle in the glitter. Then wait for the glitter and water to settle at the bottom of the jar.

Once the water is settled it is time to make a snow storm! This is our favorite part !!! Take an Alka Seltzer tablet and break it into pieces. Have the kids drop the pieces into the jar and watch what happens


DON’T FORGET! There’s only a few days left of the Audrey Press Holiday Book Sale! (ends 12/31/14)

Year in the Secret Garden


A Year in the Secret Garden (inspired by the classic children’s book Secret Garden) is on a wonderful sale until December 31st. Books always make an excellent gift for anyone in your life and it’s not too late to get your copy of A Year in the Secret Garden book for the special holiday price of $15.00 (ends December 31st) if you use the secret code word secret garden at checkout.

This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. There’s also a link to a free download website for all of the wonderful paper toys that Marilyn Scott-Waters has created. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book. This book also includes month-by-month activities as well INCLUDING fun book-related fun for the colder months of the year!

Get your copy here.

**some of these links are affiliate links

The post Snow Festival Day 4: The Story of Snow (and some Affirmation Snowflakes!) appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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11. May Your Days Grow Longer (and Warmer)

By David Opie. Ink, watercolor, gouache.

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12. red sled – Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: red sled Written and illustrated by: Lita Judge Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011 Themes/Topics: sledding, animals, onomatopoeia Suitable for ages: 3-5 Fiction, 32 pages Opening: Scrinch, scrunch, scrinch, scrunch, scrinch, scrunch Synopsis: Almost wordless book of the nighttime animal … Continue reading

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13. The snowy ends of the Earth

From Pole to Pole to spend the holiday with a dear friend

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14. 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter

Winter encourages a certain kind of idiosyncratic imagery not found during any other season: white, powdery snow, puffs of warm breath, be-scarfed holiday crowds. The following slideshow presents a lovely compilation of quotes from the eighth edition of our Oxford Dictionary of Quotations that will inspire a newfound love for winter, whether you’ve ever experienced snow or not!

Are there any other wintry quotes that you love? Let us know in the comments below.

Headline image credit: Winter bird. Photo by Mathias Erhart. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr. All slideshow background images CC0/public domain via Pixabay or PublicDomainPictures.net (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10).

The post 10 quotes to inspire a love of winter appeared first on OUPblog.

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15. Comic: Snowman Gift


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16. Snowy Christmas

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17. Davy Crockett In Winter

Cover Illustration for
Davy Crockett: Frontier Hero
Watercolor on Arches hot press paper
Steven James Petruccio

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18. Snow

Snow by Isao Sasaki

by Isao Sasaki (Viking, 1982)

Snow by Isao Sasaki

I’m not too sure if this book is still in print or not, but I snagged it at a used bookstore in Seattle once upon a long time ago. It was the best six bucks I spent in the entire city. Maybe the best six bucks ever.

This book felt familiar, and I’m sure I’ve buried some memories of reading it as a kid somewhere deep inside my book-person-soul. Opening the pages again to a story both calm and busy was also the only way to experience any snow in these parts.

And so, Snow.

Snow by Isao SasakiSnow by Isao SasakiSnow by Isao Sasaki

The book itself is a square. It’s the soft gray of winter skies. Each illustration is framed within a border of a lighter shade of that barely gray. Maybe it’s its 1982-ness, but it also feels like looking at a slide. Remember those?

Because of this bit of framing, this story is told in snippets like snapshots—of a day, of a season, of a bustling platform, but it also feels like we’re watching from a distance, remembering something that was so simple and sweet.Snow by Isao Sasaki

And at the same time, Snow is intimate. All of the action happens in the foreground. That’s where the train rumbles and the station agent shovels.

Once upon another long time ago I wrote about the rule of thirds, and that’s beautifully at work here.

We’re looking in from the outside, thanks to the white space, but we’re right there with them, thanks to the foreground action. It’s a balance, a push and pull, and some inviting tension in the quietest of stories.

Snow by Isao Sasaki

Only one spread has an illustration that takes up the entire page. A wide rectangle becomes a perfect track for rolling in. (Or is it out? But does it matter?) A wide rectangle becomes the perfect break in the pace of this book.

Much like the snow, falling heavier at times, lighter at others. Much like the light of the day, changing from dawn to dark.

Snow by Isao SasakiSnow by Isao Sasaki


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19. "Iced Water"

Steven James Petruccio
watercolor on Arches paper

This is a painting of the makeshift trough used by horses my wife used to have.  The water would freeze in the winter.  I sold this years ago but it's still one of my favorites.

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21. Sugar White Snow and Evergreens

Some snowy scenes from SUGAR WHITE SNOW AND EVERGREENS written by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky and illustrated by Susan Swan

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22. A New Hat

From an early reader done for Scholastic, "Giving Gifts". Luanne Marten.

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23. Amy Huntington...Learning new skills


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24. La Principessa nel Bosco di Neve

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25. Christmas Snow....

"...and every mother's child is going to spy 
to see if reindeer really know how to fly...."

Tara Larsen Chang, watercolor

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