The Year Winter Came Late
by Michael Larzelere and Susan M. Ward
URLink Print & Media

"With one big gasp, Mr. Sneezy Snew inhaled all the cold air. Then with a snort and a sneeze, he blew a blizzard of snow into a large white sack."

In a town renowned for its love of snow, winter is stolen away one year by a snowman who wishes to keep it all to himself. When winter doesn't arrive, all the adults are baffled with uncertainty, unsure of what they should do, but one brave girl named Lisa steps up, promising to bring winter back. On her journey to save winter, she makes several friends along the way who join her on her quest and give her the confidence to face Mr. Sneezy Snew. Accompanying the rhythmic flow of the narrative are smooth colored pencil illustrations by Catherine Blaski that fit right in to help bring this story to life.

The authors' season-themed tale is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, only the entirety of winter—the cool air and snow, the ice skating and skiing, the snowball fights and Christmas lights, and more—is stolen instead of just Christmas. With the story's characterization of Lisa as a bold and daring young girl, it shows that age is not always a factor when it comes to promoting change or making a difference. In other words, the adults in this story are dependent on a child, which is inspiring for a young audience. This children's book also offers interactive opportunities that will challenge both parents and young readers with the riddles Lisa and her friends must solve to save winter. With themes of bravery, companionship, responsibility, and teamwork, this is a book that parents can enjoy alongside their children.

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