Even for hearty New Englanders, the snow is getting old – and more is on the way. I don’t count myself among those people who greet the snow with smiles and dreams of ski weekends, but even friends in that camp are starting to feel a little overwhelmed and trapped.
Here’s a glimpse of our snowy world….
This is the Starbucks parking lot. It looks bleak, but inside it’s cozy and warm….
After a while, you begin to feel like a tunneling animal. If a drone was flying over school, they would see people following narrow paths with white walls around them. It must look like a maze!
Of course the kids love it!
Fortunately, a package arrived this week with two perfect picture books –
Stormy Night by Salina Yoon
We first met Bear and his loyal friend, Floppy, in Found – and Yoon’s new story for young children is equally warm and reassuring. The opening scene finds Bear and Floppy snuggling in Bear’s bed while a storm is raging outside. “The wind was whirring, the trees were crackling, and the rain was pounding against the windows.” Bear tries to comfort himself by telling Floppy that he will keep him safe. But of course, when the thunder rumbles and Bear and Floppy are under the bed, Bear’s mother comes in and says she “needs” Bear to help her through the storm. It isn’t too long before Papa Bear is at the door and the four (counting Floppy) comfort one another!
As An Oak Tree Grows by G. Brian Karas
Have you ever seen those picture books that show how one location (often a city or street) changes over time? DK publishes many of them and kids enjoy comparing the scene from one page to the next. This device also makes me think of two wonderful books – The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and, for older kids, The House by J. Patrick Lewis. This new book by the talented author and illustrator G. Brian Karas, follows the 200 year history of an oak tree. The tree changes – but so does the landscape and the life around the tree. In the opening spread, an acorn is planted by a young Native American boy. On the following pages, the forest becomes farmland and then a town. This is a book about the cycle of life – with a tree at its center. I strongly recommend this book to parents and teachers. Countless possibilities for discussions about how people’s lives change over time.
As An Oak Tree Grows would be an excellent book to pair with Jeannie Baker’s wordless picture book, Window. Baker focuses on the changing scenes outside of a boy’s window to document changes in our environment.
A final picture – I saw this in a bookstore last weekend and, of course, share its sentiment: