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Sunday, March 13, 2016

Into the Snow, written by Yuki Kaneko and illustrated by Masamitsu Saito. Enchanted Lion Books, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $23.95 ages 2 and up

"The snow is light
and fluffy.

It's soft and cold.


I've found an icicle.

It is shiny and clear like glass."

We all would do well to look at the world through the eyes of a child ... luckily for those who share Yuki Kaneko's new book, we can do just that! It is filled with the genuine delight felt by a young child when faced with a day in the snow.

It is also narrated by that same child who awakens to a world of white and is filled with the joyful anticipation of spending the day in its brilliance. Mom is agreeable, so long as he is dressed warmly. Out he goes. He is our eyes to the glory of snow flurries, glassy icicles, a snow-covered hill, and full out fun as he slides toward a happy spill into softness and another giddy climb to the top.

Just as he is feeling the cold, his mother comes to take him home. There, his tired body is energized by a cup of hot chocolate - the perfect ending for a day full of snowy goodness.

Masamitsu Saito's stunning artwork is done in oil pastels, gouache, acrylics and colored pencil in a perfectly chosen palette of blue, green, orange and yellow. Textured and full of energy, young listeners are sure to feel the same excitement as the young narrator. The charming images are full of movement, allowing readers to feel the surge of power (and perhaps a little bit of the fear) as he zooms down the snowy hill. I love the independence given to this child to fully explore the exuberance he is feeling at the wonders that he sees right outside his back door.

In southwestern Manitoba where our snow cover should be totally melted by the end of this 16C Sunday, we know that March teases with a promise of spring. We are not yet quite ready to believe that we have seen the last of winter. Should it snow again to blanket our world, I hope to be able to see it as joyously as this small child, recognizing the never-ending appeal it has for the young.


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