Here in the Midwest, we have been getting walloped by snow. I grew up with it and can carry on as usual, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, especially with a young child. I turn to some of my favorite winter children’s books to stay connected to the magic and beauty of snow, because I know my attitude about the weather will directly affect my daughter’s natural enthusiasm.
Right now I’m smitten with Stella, Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay. This is one in a series of Stella books, each of which follows an imaginative red-head and her cautious brother Sam as they explore new territory—the ocean, the forest, or in this instance, vast fields of snow. Stella is far more experienced in the ways of the world, so she teaches Sam about its mysteries.
Their interactions with one another are delightful and are brought to life by the author’s whimsical illustrations. Her wintery images invoke my own childhood memories of entire days spent in snowsuit and boots. On one particular page, Stella and Sam trek through snowy woods in late afternoon, and I truly feel as if I’m there.
Sam asks Stella many questions, and she devises answers to most of them. For example, “Stella, what do snowmen eat?” She replies, “Snowpeas and snowsuits, but only pink snowsuits,” an important detail, since neither of them is wearing pink.
I did read a negative review of this book recently that found fault with its lack of accuracy. This may be a concern for some parents; I find her answers thoughtful and charming but wouldn’t read the book to my daughter in the hopes of teaching facts. For us, Stella, Queen of the Snow is pure winter reverie!
If you’re in our boat and need a little more winter inspiration to survive the next few weeks, I’d also recommend Snow by Cynthia Rylant and Names for Snow by Judi K. Beach. They’ll get your mind off the slush and onto the fun!
Have wonderful weekend, friends!