Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Waiting for Winter* by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Also by Sebastian Meschenmoser:

Learning to Fly
Waiting for Winter
by Sebastian Meschenmoser
Ages 3-7 56 pages Kane/Miller June 2009 Hardcover    

Deer has to explain snow to Squirrel: its color, its texture, and its temperature. Being an inside squirrel, he’s never seen snow. But now he is intrigued and wants to wait for the snow. The problem is waiting is boring - and sleep-inducing. Squirrel does find ways to stay awake, though, and in the process, he discovers two other animals that are just as curious about snow. Together, they search for white, wet, cold, soft snow in the woods.

What they find does fit the description of snow, but not exactly. Bear’s snowflake is smelly, and Hedgehog and Squirrel’s snowflakes are more apt to be used inside a house than seen falling from the sky. When a white, wet, cold, soft snowflake does fall from the sky, they are in awe, and in no time at all, they know what to do.

How the illustrations were rendered in this book is not specified, but it looks like pencils and pencil crayons were used. The long, loose-flowing lines used to draw the squirrel fit the animal’s energetic demeanor. He’s so full of anticipation, he cannot keep still. He’s so full of wonder, it’s contagious!

Set in the forest before the first snowfall, the views range from faraway shots of the trees to close-ups of the forest floor that show details like the burr and leaves stuck to hedgehog’s spikes, bear’s squinted morning eyes and tousled fur, and the location of the first snowflake. When more of the background is included in the illustrations, the reader will see two-page spreads of various “snowfalls” and different areas of the forest, including the tree with a cave-like entrance and Hedgehog’s leaf pile.

Author/illustrator Sebastian Meschenmoser’s use of white space when illustrating the woods makes it feel like winter, even before the snow starts falling. The subtle colors here are streaked through the animal’s fur and certain areas of the forest, such as on a few blades of grass or leaves.

An excellent read-aloud, Waiting for Winter is humorous and the text changes in size and boldness when emphasis or extra emotion is needed from the reader. Be sure to turn to the endpapers at the back of this story, too. It’s funny what Squirrel, Hedgehog and Bear do with the “snowflakes” they find.

This book is perfect.

Born in Germany, Sebastian Meschenmoser is the author and illustrator of the children’s book Learning to Fly.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (