It seems that Winter Storm Juno was not as bad as predicted, at least here in NYC; but we do have a lot of snow! And of course, snow means snow days, and snow days mean playing in the snow. And when we are done freezing in the snow, we warm up with cocoa and books about snow of course! I have written about many wintery, snowy books in the past including my winter list from 2013 and one of my new favorite snow books by Jonathan Bean from last year. But today, for this Let’s Read Three series, I bring three vintage books about the anticipation, excitement, and joy of snow.
An added bonus in each of these, that I didn’t originally intend, is that they all feature sledding! The third book, I am of course cheating a bit as I only intend to feature the first story, “Down the Hill.” But it counts as a story, and is just the right length for a cozy reading with these other two. Let’s read three books about winter and snow!
1. The Poky Little Puppy’s Wonderful Winter Day by Jean Chandler, 1982
Most people are probably familiar with The Poky Little Puppy created in 1942 by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustaf Tenggren. His is a classic story, created as one of the first twelve Little Golden Books from Simon and Schuster. This sequel of sorts is amongst the many recreations of him, oddly not done by his original creators. Jean Chandler had a hand in several Poky Little Puppy books through the 80s and I think she did a pretty marvelous job of keeping to the original Tenggren style and feel from the 40s.
In this wintery day story, the Poky Little Puppy does his best to keep up with his siblings, but keeps getting sidetrack by all the great fun snow tends to bring. Snow angels, snowball fights, sledding and more make this puppy have one lovely winter day and actually too tired to even finish his supper. We love this book around here as it is from my husband’s childhood and it is a smaller sized Little Golden Book, perfect for little hands to tote around.
2. Geraldine’s Big Snow by Holly Keller, 1988.
I became aware of Geraldine the pig stories a few months ago when I discovered them at a used bookstore. These delightful books from the 80s feature an adorable, cartoon pig with a near-perfect mimic of toddler antics and personality. Holly Keller’s watercolors are lovely with their simple, flat design and surprisingly bold colors and I am in love with her palette choices, especially in how she accents the pink of Geraldine with surrounding colors.
In Geraldine’s Big Snow, the majority of the book is actually spent on waiting for the snow to arrive. Similar to Bean’s recent book, the anticipation is the theme and is almost too much to bear. Geraldine waits and waits, visits with every neighbor in sight to learn how they are preparing for it, and then waits some more. When it finally does arrive, her sledding fun begins. I just love how the book ends with her sledding off into the white! We always add a little “Whee!” to the ending.
3. “Down the Hill” from Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel, 1976.
This is a classic Frog and Toad story, yet a bit more active and thrilling. Arnold Lobel’s characters are so charming and endearing. While I intend for you to just read this one story for the grouping, I have no doubt you’ll get coerced into reading the other four in the book as well!
Frog, being the adventurous one, wants to enjoy the winter weather; while Toad desires to stay warm in bed. Frog practically forces Toad out of bed, into snow clothes, and outside with the intention of riding his sled down the big hill. Toad remains reluctant throughout, although is comforted by the fact that Frog will be with him. Unfortunately, just as Toad is enjoying himself and the ride, Frog is knocked off and the ride turns sour. The hilarious story ends with one of many quotable lines, “Winter may be beautiful, but bed is much better.” I concur, dear Toad.
I hope you are enjoying some wintery fun with or without snow. We have plenty to go around here! Stay warm and read up and let me know what other cold-weather books are circulating!