Winter Is

Reviewed: November 6, 2002
By: Story by Ann Dixon Illustrations by Mindy Dwyer
Publisher: Alaska Northwest Books Whitecap Books
32 pages, $8.95

As we leave summer and get into that season where there’s not a lot you can do in the north, the common cry I hear from all grade levels seems to be “Bring on the Winter.” It’s as if we might as well get there, into our major season, so that they can at least begin to work on winter activities.

You can’t blame them.

Apparently it’s the same thing over in Willow, Alaska, where Ann Dixon lives. That would have been the inspiration for this little picture/poetry book which starts off with the declaration “Winter is coming and I can’t wait.”

The verses of the poem follow more or less the pattern of the verse on the first two page spread, which runs:

Ice creaks and groans,
freezing thick on the lake.
How long will it be
till the ice doesn’t break?
At last! We can skate and glide.

Many of the later verses begin with the opening “Winter is” and go on to name all its qualities: white, cold, dark, long, light, bright, and finally, gone.

The colourful paintings evoke the action in each verse; skating, breathing on frosty windows, sliding, watching Northern Lights, and so on through the spectrum of neat winter things to do. The combination on each page makes a good discussion point for little kids listening to parents reading.

It’s a joyful little book, and what family can’t use a bit more joy?