cover image The First Snow

The First Snow

David Christiana. Scholastic, $15.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-590-22855-8

Christiana dips his brush in whimsy for this imaginative ""what if?"" tale that ponders what Mother Nature was like as a girl. A warm weather fan, the little minx schemes to delay the coming of Winter (shown here as a boy bundled in muffler, mittens and hat) and his friend, the Wind; meanwhile Winter is given sage countertactical advice by Aunt Arctica, a wise polar bear. Winter finally wins out by putting Mother Nature to sleep with a lullaby, but in spite of himself he's grown fond of her, and when she awakens and freezes solid, he warms her with a blanket of ""the softest white crystals""-the first snow. With fluid brushwork and delicate use of color, Christiana reprises the flourish-filled, romantic style of his A Tooth Fairy's Tale. Ethereal, slightly fey illustrations evoke a fully realized fanciful world, one that readers should find warm and inviting, especially on a wintry day. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)