Winter is on the way!

It’s taken quite a long time this year, but the air is finally chilly enough outside to start reading books about winter. One of my favorites of this upcoming season is Eileen Spinelli’s Cold Snap. It’s perfect for sharing with your loved ones as a fire roars in your fireplace (or, if you’re like me, the electric baseboard heaters warm the room) and you sip on some toasty hot chocolate.

The story is the perfect mixture of cozy and sweet, perfect for reading on a chilly day. Included is a recipe for Miss Dove’s Sugar-on-Snow Candy, which would be great to make after reading the story! Yum! The temperature in Toby Mills is COLD and as each day passes, it just gets colder and colder. Icicles are hanging from the General Toby’s statue and no one can seem to get warm. Everyone is discouraged and lonely and COLD, until the Mayor’s wife has a brilliant idea, bring the entire town together for a fun surprise to ride out the cold snap.

Stay warm, Amanda

Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli; $ 17.99; Knopf; Ages 4+

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Jaz’s Pick of the Day 5-20-9

while you are awayWhile You Are Away, by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Renee Graef

I almost cried when I read this book.  My mother was in the Army for 12 years and she was deployed many times during her service.  This book follows three children who each have a parent that is away serving in the military.  “While you are on that big ship, Daddy, far far away, I miss you… While you are flying that fast plane, Mommy, far far away, I miss you… While you are driving that speedy jeep, Papa, far far away, I remember what you told me…”  Each child expresses what they miss about their parent, but they also talk about the things that they do to help deal with the pain: sending packages in the mail, wearing your parent’s old sweater, dancing with their pillow.

I think that this would be a great gift for the upcoming holidays like Memorial Day and Father’s Day.  It is very patriotic and full of flags, stars and stripes, and the colors of America.  There is a brown, white, and tan family.  For ages 2 and up!

While You Are Away, by Eileen Spinelli, Hyperion Books for Children, $5.99