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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Toys Meet Snow, written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Schwartz & Wade, Random House. 2015. $20.99 ages 3 and up

"... the toys go out into
the snow.
"Is that a different tree?'
asks Lumphy. "It looks
like a different tree than
before the snow came."
"It's turned into a candy
tree," says StingRay. "It
tastes like peppermint."
"No, it's the same tree ... "

The Toys are back! Huzzah! The title lets us know that they are seeing snow for the first time. The subtitle offers information about each one of them: Being the Wintertime Adventures of A Curious Stuffed Buffalo, A Sensitive Plush Stingray and a Book-Loving Rubber Ball. That's a mouthful!

The stuffed buffalo (aka Lumphy) remains inquisitive with much to wonder about at this new and sparkling phenomenon. The stingray (aka StingRay) has one terrific imagination and a poet's sensibilities, providing lively spirited answers. The ball (aka Plastic) is a reader, and an avid learner of factual information, always willing to share what he knows.

Together they watch as the world transforms itself outside their window. Its takes some preparation and a good deal of thought to ensure that they are ready to head out, that they can open the door to winter's blast of cold air, and then that they can make their way down the stairs and into a brand new backyard:

" I mean, what is a snowflake?" asks Lumphy.

"A snowflake is a tiny ballerina," says StingRay.
"If you look closely, you can see it dance."

"No, it's just really tiny frozen water,"
says Plastic. "I read that, too."

All the joys that young children experience in the snow are a part of this wonderful tale of three friends and their journey of discovery. The panelled artwork and spot pictures placed on bright white backgrounds allow young readers a window into the fun to be had when a trio of very different friends work together for the greater good.

This charming story casts a spell that is not unlike the joys that are inherent in a winter storm.

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