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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Winter Dance, written by Marion Dane Bauer and illustrated by Richard Jones. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Raincoast. 2017. $23.99 ages 3 and up

"A snowshoe hare
hops by in his new winter coat.
"I can tell you what to do,"
he says.
"Turn yourself white
to match the snow."
And the snowshoe hare,
who has done just that,
disappears in the whitening world.
"That won't do for me,"
says the fox."

Our first warning has been posted. The bright morning sun has already given way to gray cloudy skies.Those skies should bring rain before that moisture turns to snow! Along with very high winds, forecasters are predicting a bit of an accumulation and dangerous driving conditions. I guess we will soon be doing our 'winter dance' as well.

The inquisitive fox on the front cover felt a snowflake land on his nose. Now, he is full of questions and comments about the coming winter and how he should prepare for it. Asking his animal friends should give him direction; instead, they leave him with solutions destined to fail. He can't curl up in a chrysalis. He certainly can't bury himself in the mud at the bottom of the pond, as the turtle suggests.

He wanders along talking with a bat, a squirrel, geese, a hare, and a bear. Each has a personally plausible comment to make about the best way to deal with the coming cold. Fox has no time for any of their suggestions, and has a reasonable response as to why they just won't work for him. After much wandering

"The fox hushes.
on his

And then ...
a whistle,
soft, soft."

What can it be? Is there some way to enjoy the joys of the winter season? What do you think?

The text is poetic and polished. Readers and listeners will enjoy the repetitive nature of the fox's response to each suggestion made. The full spread artwork is lovely, filled with rich natural colors and beautifully designed to provide a clear look at the natural forested world.

Seems the coming of winter can be quite a good thing. I love the changing seasons; just the same, I am never quite prepared for how quickly autumn passes us by, and foists winter upon us. Let's hope it isn't here to stay yet. I don't want to give up my sandals!

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