Winter Is the Warmest Season Hardcover – Sep 29 2006
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3–In this playful concept book, Stringer enumerates the joys of winter to prove her point that it is the warmest season. Children don puffy jackets, deep boots, and hats with earflaps. The cold sandwiches and drinks of summer are replaced by hot soups, pies, and breads. Nights are warm, with fireplaces and candles burning, and gatherings of friends and family. Each fanciful acrylic spread is carefully composed with an eye toward balance and to drawing readers' eyes across the pages. Thus, on one spread, while a boy and his dog dance past snowmen at the top, a row of hibernating animals burrow beneath a layer of snow across the bottom. There's a lively flow to both illustration and text, with cheerfully jumbled perspectives and a sense of the ongoing cycle of seasons. A cheerful celebration of winter's pleasures.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Winter? Cold? It's all in the way you look at things as this imaginative book makes clear. A boy proclaims that summer notwithstanding, his world is warmest in winter. His puffy jacket is cozy, and a fire burns in the fireplace. Comparisons between summer and winter come in clever pairs: jelly sandwiches turn into grilled cheese; cool swims turn into hot baths. Nor is it just the boy who feels the difference: the cat cuddles on laps instead of stretching out on the windowsill. In a linguistic rhapsody, the boy explains how "sleeping radiators awake to their dragon selves, banging and hissing and pouring heat." It takes special art to accentuate the evocative words, and Stringer, who has illustrated many books for others, provides distinctive pictures for herself. With fascinating perspectives that sometimes start on the ceiling, the deeply hued acrylic artwork ranges from friendly to joyous, as in a two-page spread of a party filled with fun and music. A special book worthy of many readings, this radiates warmth. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Ms. Lauren Stringer answers skeptics and pre-schoolers alike with this lavishly illustrated and imaginatively written book. It's going to make my list of top 20 books read in 2007, because Stinger's case for winter is both compelling and beautiful. The premise would engagte any toddler or early grade schooler, but Stringer runs confidently with it, writing as captivating and luscious a book as I've read in quite some time.
If you've read the other reviews and product description, you'll know that both the practical (warm clothing) and the emotional (warm feelings) effectively contradict what the thermometer tells us. However, it's the way that Ms. Stringer tells the story that makes all the difference. It's a very active book, both in the active (as opposed to passive) voice, and the way she animates the objects that warm us. The young narrator doesn't merely say he put on a warm hat and coat; instead, he tells us, "my hat grows earflaps," and "my jacket puffs warm with feathers." Later, the boy's pajamas "will grow big warm feet." Winter doesn't rest here, it's alive and full of possibilities. (Actually, one skillful illustration shows assorted animals hibernating underground, while above, the "the snowman I build dance on top, wearing warm wraparound scarves.")
Transformations continue: "My iced summer's milk turns to hot chocolate. Cold jelly sandwiches turn into grilled cheeses." Throughout her book, Ms. Springer's imagery and language are spectacular:
"When winter comes,
summer's cool fans hide
in dark basements...
while sleeping rasiators awake
to their dragon selves, banging
and hissing and pouring heat
all through my house."
This is pure poetry, and belies any thought that writing really good books for kids can be done by just anyone. I mentioned the emotional warmth that the book conveys, and we feel this in cats who sit on laps, and in festive, candle-lit parties with music ansd dancing and warm, festive clothing, snuggling and reading in bed with your parents and your cat, and later with your teddy bear. A surprise tops it off, in winter the boy might just dream of summer..."just to cool me off!"
The acrylic on watercolor paper illustrations are just as rich and inviting as the prose, with action and bold patterns and a varied palette (although warm colors abound.) A tour de force, in any season.
I bought this ebook because of it's exceptional reviews. When I started reading it to my daughter the book did not translate well to the ebook format. Pages were repeated. Pictures chopped. I did landscape the Ereader, which made the pictures too small to read, so you had to zoom in. It was just frustrating to read.
Amazon's customer service was exceptional and gave me a full refund. I will be seeking a physical copy of this book, though because i did enjoy the concept of the book and the artwork was lovely and I would like to see how the author intended it to be presented. This was my second children's ebook purchase, they are harder to find. The first is stunning to read (We Planted a Tree), and it feels as though you are reading the actual book.
I also wanted to note the sample of this book was worthless. All it had was the copyright info, 3 green pages with snowflakes and the title page. Not really a sample from the story.
Again grateful for Amazons amazing customer service!
The examples *are* convincing - in winter, we have feet on our pajamas, we eat grilled cheese instead of cold jelly, we turn on radiators instead of fans, the cats sleep on our laps instead of on our windowsills. However, what I really like about this book is the artwork. They just make me feel emotionally... well... warm. I know that that's pretty vague, but it's the truth.
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