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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Little Penguins, words by Cynthia Rylant and pictures by Christian Robinson. Scwartz & Wade, Random House. 2016. $23.99 ages 2 and up


Many mittens.

And matching scarves.

One for each foot."

The weather report for Manitoba released today says we should expect much cooler temperatures by the weekend, and perhaps some flurries. That is good news for many, as we have often had Halloween visitors arrive in snow boots and parkas. No snow until past the middle of November - lots of people will be celebrating that news! Happy times ahead for little ones who can't wait to see the first flakes fall, and for winter to bring its brilliant beauty to streets and yards.

The small penguins in this spirited book that celebrates winter's first snow cannot contain their excitement. Their first glimpse of the wintry wonderland has them scrambling for mittens, scarves, socks and boots, all perfectly matched for easy access. Once outside, they head off with enthusiasm, towing a sleigh and making a path for those who follow. The snow is deep, always deeper. Mama follows with the fifth, and reticent, little one in tow.

As night falls, the troop heads inside for warmth and treats following a long day of activity. Mama must be relieved when all five are tucked in for a long winter's sleep.

 What a delight to have Christian Robinson interpret Cynthia Rylant's spare and telling text! His spreads are filled with northern scenes and the bright white of falling snow. Done in acrylic paint and cut paper collage, he interprets the joy felt in every scene. He outfits his tiny tots in matching duds and gives readers a sense of their individual personalities as we follow them into the wide, white world.

Sure to be a bedtime favorite as we move from fall toward the many joys of winter!

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