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Books  >>  Kids Books

Tony Johnston

Winter Is Coming

Tony Johnston Winter Is Coming
$3.99 Pre-owned
 
In Stock - Should ship Monday

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Product Condition
All used items are in good or better condition. May have minor damage to jewel case including scuffs or cracks, or to the item cover including scuffs. The cover art and liner notes are included for a CD. VHS or DVD box is included. The majority of our disc games come in their case. The majority of our cartridge games do not include instructions or a case. No fuzzy/snowy frames on VHS tapes.
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Main description:

Witness the changing of a season through a watchful child’s eyes in this story of nature and discovery from award-winning author Tony Johnston and New York Times Best Illustrated artist Jim La Marche.

Day after day, a girl goes to her favorite place in the woods and quietly watches from her tree house as the chipmunks, the doe, the rabbits prepare for the winter. As the temperature drops, sunset comes earlier and a new season begins. Silently she observes the world around her as it reveals its secrets. It takes time and patience to see the changes as, slowly but surely, winter comes.

Review quote:

A dark-haired girl sits alone in the woods, observing the behavior of animals from a platform up in a tree. Each animal that ventures into the clearing is getting ready for winter’s cold. Though the foliage glows, food is becoming harder to find: “The mother bear snuffles for food among the flaming leaves. The cub snuffles too. But no luck.... Winter is coming.” The girl’s narration makes it clear that her family possesses a store of knowledge about the natural world. About skunks, she says, “I can smell them before I see them. Not a bad smell; a real smell. My father says animals are true to themselves.” In one of several spreads meticulously worked with feather-light strokes, LaMarche (A Single Pearl) looks down on both the skunks and the girl on her platform, doubling the sense of secret observation. Sketches of the skunks lie beside her. With meditative language, Johnston (The Cat with Seven Names) offers a vivid sense of the changing seasons and of stillness. LaMarche quietly and sensitively portrays a child who’s comfortable spending hours alone, working on her own projects and observing—a young naturalist. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)

Review quote:

Armed with a sketchbook and patience, a young girl watches animals from a platform in a tree. With quiet appreciation, the narrator describes what she sees on visits made from September through late November to her special place on the edge of the woods. She watches a fox take the last apple from a tree. A bear mother “snuffles for food” with her cub. Honking Canada geese fly overhead. There are skunks, acorn woodpeckers, rabbits, chipmunks, a deer with still-spotted fawns and turkeys. One day the lucky girl even observes a lynx. “I stay quiet, quiet / to keep it here— / for a moment.” Even on the gray, cold day on which no animals come, the narrator sits patiently, her back to readers, steadily waiting and watching. LaMarche’s illustrations, done mostly in shades of orange and brown with acrylics, colored pencil and inks, beautifully and realistically portray the ever changing woods, trees, plants and animals. The girl’s appreciation for all she sees and hears is as evident in her face and body language as it is in the text. While not as obviously place-specific as the prolific author’s Desert Song, illustrated by Ed Young (2000), the flora and fauna are recognizably Californian—but the appeal will be universal. This gentle, lyrical celebration of the natural world will reward similarly observant readers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Review quote:

On a cold September day, a girl takes her binoculars, sketch pad, and pencils outdoors to draw the wildlife around her family’s farm. She returns several times before late November, when the first snowflakes fall. Often observing from a platform in a tree, she sketches what she sees: a red fox, a bear with her cub, a lynx, a skunk family, woodpeckers, rabbits, chipmunks, a doe with two fawns, Canada geese, and wild turkeys. The geese are flying south, but the other animals are foraging for food as they prepare to winter in the woods and fields around the farm. Written from the girl’s point of view, Johnston’s text is plainspoken and natural sounding but poetic in effect, with graceful repetition: on most double-page spreads, the lines end with “Winter is coming.” Created with acrylics, colored pencils, and opaque inks, LaMarche’s captivating illustrations convey the radiance of an autumn meadow, the girl’s rapt attention to her surroundings, and the unique qualities of the animals she observes. Winter may be in the title, but this evocative picture book is best for reading aloud in the fall, when children can notice the subtle changes happening in their own outdoor spaces. A quiet, beautiful picture book to share.

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