When Winter Comes

by Nancy Van Laan and Susan Gaber

What happens to leaves and flowers, caterpillars and songbirds, field mice and fish,... read more

What happens to leaves and flowers, caterpillars and songbirds, field mice and fish, and other living things “when winter comes and the cold wind blows”? In a series of lyrical question-and-response verses, Nancy Van Laan conveys some of the ways the natural world changes when the cold and snow arrive. Her text is a gentle song for the season. Gaber’s subdued palette captures the transformation wrought by the first heavy snow. A loving family explores this changing world. The two adults and their child could be many families: dark-eyed and dark-haired with olive-toned skin, a child that could be boy or a girl, and adults that could be a woman and a man or two women. The small child--clearly loved, and full of nurtured wonder--is the center of the story. Children will understand this from the very beginning, even though the text only implies it until the very end, when the author asks, “Where oh where does our little one go / when winter comes and the cold winds blow?” Highly Commended, 2001 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 3-6)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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