Happy Winter by Karen Gundersheimer is our new favorite children’s book for winter.
(Last year, it was Red Fox Running by Eve Bunting, of which I can still recite the first four lines: Red fox running, / Running through the snow, / White sky above / And white earth below. / ).
We discovered Happy Winter through Five In A Row–it’s not a FIAR title, but is a suggested go along. If you saw our list of winter favorites (Favorite Winter Books for Children), it may look familiar.
I just wanted to do a quick review to demonstrate its wonderfulness. 🙂
As far as I know, it’s a fairly unknown book. If you can find it at the local library, consider yourself lucky. Our library does not have it. (We live in the wealthiest county in the nation, and it irritates me to no end that our library system has no room for countless classics like this one. I’ll get down off my soapbox, though, before I get myself in trouble).
(I checked online for this book just now, and am super-glad I bought it when I did! I’m sure I paid $10 or less for our hardback copy in very good condition. It’s even signed by the author! The prices I see now are ridiculous! If your library doesn’t carry Happy Winter, I suggest checking the online prices periodically. You could also try an InterLibrary Loan, where your library checks to see if they can borrow it from another library. Sometimes there is a small fee for this).
Why do I love this book? Glad you asked.
I love Happy Winter because of all that it celebrates:
- Family: specifically the bond between two young siblings (sisters). I love for my boys to see siblings enjoying each other’s company, working together and playing outside together (without their mother, I might point out). The two girls even share a room.
- Winter: the sisters enjoy a wide range of typical winter activities, both of the snowy kind and otherwise. I love that certain indoor pastimes are included in a wintry book, like playing dress-up and hide-n-seek.
- Childhood: love, love, LOVE that the small sisters in this book enjoy NORMAL CHILDHOOD ACTIVITIES (please forgive my use of all caps, but I feel strongly about this one). They play outside. They play inside. They make a secret birthday gift for their mother. They bake a cake with their mother. They have a friend over to play. They read books. They eat a real breakfast. Note the absence of electronics. And–dare I say it?–preschool. They are kids, being kids.
- Art: the tiny, detailed drawings remind me of Maurice Sendak’s illustrations, only with brighter colors. Love all the details, especially the expressions on the faces of the children.
- Rhyme: I’m a sucker for rhyming poetry, and this one is delightful!
- Chocolate: We can’t eat the Happy Winter Fudge Cake described in Happy Winter due to our dietary restrictions, but if you have no such restrictions you may enjoy following the provided recipe and consuming the results. (And don’t worry, we do have our own delicious version of Chocolate Cake).
Older Brother loves this book, too, and has requested it often. Little Brother is still a bit too wiggly to endure a complete reading, but he enjoys being in the same room with us while we read it aloud.
Read a few more glowing reviews of Happy Winter on Amazon.
Happy Winter to you and yours!
Do you have a favorite winter book?
Other posts you might like:
- Favorite Winter Books for Children
- Exploring Nature with Kids: Winter Nature Walk
- Our Favorite Winter Poem