Monday, September 22, 2014

Winter Book Review

In a twist of events that is beyond my control, I received a winter book to review. It was an unexpected surprise, but one I enjoyed. I'm hoping to get the first book in the series soon too, the fall book.

But until then, I want to say something about this book, The Wonderful Gifts of Winter by Dandi Daley Mackall.
It's such a sweet one. It has beautiful illustrations, the text is rhymed so it's perfect for kids 4-8. This is actually the target audience of the book. This is the second book in the series, Seasons Series, and its release date is October 1st. 

The book deals with what is specific to winter: snow and playing in it, snowballs fights, sleighing, skating, snow angel making, decorating for Christmas and celebrating Christmas, the opportunities kids too have to help those around them, snuggling inside in the warmth of the fire, celebrating New Year's Day. It basically focuses on important elements of winter - blessings, as they are referred to-  and presents them to kids as something to be grateful for. It's something I really like - showing normal winter activities as blessings from above. Love it! The Bible verses carefully picked and illustrative for the activities focused on are such a nice touch. I loved that too!
What I was kind of expecting, though, (and happened) was that after New Year's Day winter is pretty much done with and we are left waiting for Spring. This is how the book ends, with the promise of spring time. I was hoping there was more that this. Waiting for Spring from early January, right after New Year's Day, seems like a really long time, even for an adult. 

As far as the illustrations go, they are so cute. Katherine Blackmore did such a great job! I was immeditely drawn to them. They resemble children's books illustrations I grew up with. The children's faces repeat on each page, plus or minus some new ones. Maybe it's something obvious and what should have done, but I found this cute and so smart, to not make new faces for every activity. The illustrations look as if they are painted, and there is so close attention to details. It's easily "read" even if the kids can't read the text themselves.

Also, there is a Parent Connection at the end of the book, which is a great opportunity given to parents to talk more with their children about what they've just read. A fragment from Genesis, some discussion questions, and a craft activity can be found in this Parent Connection part of the book. I found it so clever that young readers and not left with just that, a story, but they are led further. And from what I know about working with kids, the discussion will spread well over the questions suggested here. 

A sweet read, indeed. This would make a lovely stocking gift, I am sure.
If the words "cute" "pretty" "lovely" "sweet" appear in this review is because there are no better words to describe it.

B&H Publishing, the Kids section, graciously made available this copy for review. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.

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