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Friday, December 6, 2013

On A Snowy Night, written by Jean Little and illustrated by Brian Deines. North Winds Press, Scholastic. 2013. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"Brandon lifted Rosa out
of her cage. He held her
tight and ran back out into
the winter dusk. He put her
down gently in a stretch of
white snow.
"How do you like the snow,
Rosa?" he asked.
Just then his mother called..."

When Rosa first comes to live with Brandon, she is a much loved pet. She is coddled and cared for, and Brandon loves spending time with her. As so often happens with new pets, Brandon keeps his promises. As also happens, Brandon gets older, becomes less interested in Rosa, and even forgets to feed her at times.

Rosa is not happy:

"Rosa Rabbit wanted to bite somebody."

When it snows on Christmas Eve, Brandon suddenly takes an interest in Rosa again and takes her outside to enjoy the beauty of the wintry night, and the softly falling snowflakes. A phone call distracts him and he rushes inside, totally forgetting his once pampered pet. As she tries to find her way home, Rosa gets lost in the snow!

Cold and shivering, Rosa is helped by a flock of chickadees who fluff their feathers and try to provide comfort. They are joined by squirrel with a warm woolen mitten, a raccoon with a fondness for foraged food, a tiny hungry mouse and a hawk with a warm heart. All's well that ends well, and Rosa is willing to forget Brandon's indifference when she finds herself wrapped up in his welcoming arms.

It is a night filled with peace, and love remembered!

Brian Deines uses oil paints on linen to entice us into the depths of a winter's night where the gentle glow of moonlight keeps our spirits up, despite the plight of this forgotten pet.  



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