Saturday, March 1, 2014

Winter Tales: Reading for a Snowy Weekend

Today is March 1st, and although technically (and based on the weather around us!) winter goes until March 20th/21st, I learned recently that in Australia people say that the season has changed on the first of the month in which the season changes. In other words, I could say that today is spring (although if I lived in Australia, I guess I'd be saying that today is fall!).

This is Andersen's cut out (he was a
papercut artist) of the Snow Queen.

The Snow Queen, and Other Hans Christian Andersen tales

In any case, I fell asleep last night thinking about the story of the Snow Queen in a favorite book of mine growing up--Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales. I haven't seen Frozen (until I started this blog post I didn't know it was based on the Snow Queen), and I haven't seen any of the other movie versions of the Snow Queen, and it was one of my least favorite stories in the book (too long! seven parts! too difficult to read! and icy, icy, icy!). Probably it was the icy! icy! icy! part that made me think of it last night, but I found myself remembering one of the illustrations in the book I owned, in great detail.

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen

The cover of the book.

Dad takes his daughter out one night, owling. She explains, "When you go owling, you have to be quiet!"

Have you gone owling this winter? I did go looking for (and found) the snowy oils at Willow Run Airport on Christmas Day. And I did hear a screech owl. But that's about it, so far. March can be a good time to look for Great Horned Owls.

Hans Brinker, or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge

Taken from wikimedia. This is an illustration from the 1876
French translation of the novel. It is in the public domain
because the copyright has expired. Les Patins d’argent,
éditeur Hetzel et Cie, bibliothèque d’éducation et de récréation

It has been a long time since I read this book, where Hans and his sister Gretel are hoping to win teel bladed skates in a race, rather than the hand-carved wooden skates they have. I thought I would include it because--after all--we did just finish the winter Olympics, and it does give you some insight into how speed skating became a Dutch sport.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

I wrote about this book once before. Reading it as an adult, I realized two things. 1) It is truly a tale of near-starvation. 2) It is very hard to imagine how isolated, and bored, we would be living in blizzard after blizzard, far from other people and with little to entertain us.

The Moffats by Eleanor Estes

Cover of the first edition.

Strictly speaking, this is not a book about winter at all. It is about the lives of four children and their mother, living in Connecticut. I love Eleanor Estes, and I love the Moffats series.
But there is one scene that is so vivid to me, when they run out of coal in winter and need to get more coal, that I thought I would include this anyway.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Cover of The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats.
Last, but not least, let's hope that in all this snow we are able to still enjoy, and wonder at, the snow--just as Peter does, in The Snowy Day.

"He walked with his toes pointed out, then he walked with his toes pointed in. 

Consider subscribing to Ann Arbor Schools Musings by Email!

No comments:

Post a Comment