________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 6. . . . November 15, 2002

cover Winter Is.

Ann Dixon. Illustrated by Mindy Dwyer. Portland, OR: Alaska Northwest Books (Distributed in Canada by Whitecap Books), 2002.

32 pp., pbk., $8.95 (pbk.), $15.95 (cl.). ISBN 0-88240-544-6 (pbk.), ISBN 0-88240 543-8 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Stories in Rhyme.

Preschool-grade 1 /Ages 3-6.

Review by Catherine Hoyt.

**** /4


Winter is black,
spilling night into day.
We watch northern lights
start to flicker and sway.

They swirl like bright, crazy dancers.

Winter Is is a terrific little book. Award-winning author Ann Dixon does a great job of sharing everything that winter is with the reader. The reader can feel the children's excitement as they lace up their hockey skates. Readers young and old will remember blowing hot breath on frosty winter windows. Winter is children jumping into enormous mounds of snow and making snow angels in the backyard. The reader finds that winter is northern lights, hibernation, dog teams and holidays. Then the children are enjoying warm late winter days and sledding without their heavy coats. Finally the snow and ice are melting, and the children play in the collapsing drifts. Before long, summer is coming, and, as expected, the kids can't wait.
internal art

          The author's rhyming text on the left hand page trips off the readers' tongue as they become caught up with the excitement. The line on the right hand side does not rhyme. I've always found that this format disrupts rhythm when reading out loud, but Winter Is is such a great book that I didn't really notice.

     Mindy Dwyer's colourful illustrations are fantastic. Her use of shadows and detail provides lots of ideas for discussion. Children will enjoy looking for the almost hidden animals in many of the pictures. The most interesting searches will be the rabbits in the frosted glass and the hibernating animals in the forest. I have seen other picture books illustrated by Dwyer, and this work stands out in my mind as her best. The illustrations are so lively, colourful and really complement the text.

     I will be watching for Ann Dixon to write a book for each season. Winter Is is a recommended purchase for classroom collections and public libraries and is a good choice for preschool storytimes.

Highly Recommended.

As the result of an exciting move, Catherine Hoyt is now the Reference Librarian at the Nunavut Legislative Library in Iqaluit, Nunavut. However, she enjoys volunteering at the local public library in the newest capital in Canada.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364