cover image The Last Snow of Winter

The Last Snow of Winter

Tony Johnston. Tambourine Books, $14 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-688-10749-9

Gaston Pompicard, an artist who once worked for kings, uses the first snow of winter to sculpt likenesses of the neighborhood children. As he says, ``A sculptor for kings is a fine thing to be. But a sculptor for friends is finer.'' When the last snow falls, Gaston is confined to bed with an interminable cold; to cheer him up, the grateful children sculpt him and his dog, Louisette. Johnston's ( Yonder ; The Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea ) light touch and slightly eccentric characters find their complement in Henstra's dynamic, cleanly composed watercolor-and-ink illustrations, which combine scribbly lines with a sedate palette. A diverting tale about generosity of spirit. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)