Winter Books and Memorable Sentences…

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I’m not good at winter. I really wish I was. I love sweaters and hot chocolate and wintery picture books, but don’t enjoy snow. That’s a problem when you live in New England. But today….a break in this already cold and snowy winter. It was 60 degrees this morning, and so I took a  long walk and pretended that it was April.

Strangely, though, my biggest collection of picture books is winter stories.  I love snowy stories – from the warmth of my house. Earlier today, I went through all of my picture books with winter settings and selected my ten favorites. All of these would be perfect choices for story time:

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

It’s Snowing! by Oliver Dunrea

The Snow Lambs by Debi Gliori

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The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Geraldine’s Big Snow by Holly Keller

Snow by Roy McKie

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The Snow Day by Komako Sakai

Snow by Uri Shulevitz

Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson

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On a completely different note (feeling scattered today!), I was reading a list of “perfect sentences” on the Publishers Weekly website. Here is a beautiful one from their list:

“When we are green, still half-created, we believe that our dreams are rights, that the world is disposed to act in our best interests, and that falling and dying are for quitters.”

(This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff)

Lists of perfect sentences always bring my personal favorite to mind. From the first chapter of The Great Gatsby, this is Nick Carraway’s description of Daisy and her friend, Jordan, sitting on the couch in Daisy’s house:

“The only completely stationary object in the room was an enormous couch on which two young women were buoyed up as though upon an anchored balloon. They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering as if they had just been blown back in after a short flight around the house.”

It’s actually two sentences, but they go together!

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One more thing….I’ve been reading Rita Williams Garcia’s new novel, P.S. Be Eleven – the sequel to her Newbery-Honor book, One Crazy Summer.  It continues the story of eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, who at the beginning of this novel, have returned to New York after spending the summer with their activist mother. It is 1968, and the girls are saving money for a Jackson Five concert.  Each of the girls is distinct and memorable. Their voices are so unique that I felt like I really knew them. The same with the secondary characters: their father, their grandmother, Delphine’s teacher, their uncle who has just returned from Vietnam, and their father’s new girlfriend who volunteers for the Shirley Chisolm campaign.  P.S. Be Eleven can stand alone, but I recommend reading One Crazy Summer first. It makes this story richer if you understand the girls experience when they visited their mother in California.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and find at least one new book under the tree!

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