Friday, December 9, 2011

Chickadee Winter by Dawn L. Watkins and illustrated by Gabriela Dellosso

Jack's grandparents' place is not at all like New Mexico, and he's having a hard time adjusting. He misses the weather, the food, and everything about his home, and he's not sure if he even likes it in a place where winters are so cold and there's snow everywhere. Jack and his sister Nora are staying with their grandparents and Christmas is getting closer, but Jack is in no mood to celebrate. Maybe the chickadees that fly around his grandfather will help him to understand how this kind of winter, while different than what he's used to, can still be fun and beautiful.

It's very easy to relate to Jack: he's a young boy who feels like his life has been turned upside down, he misses his old life, and he's afraid about what the future will bring. His parents are only briefly mentioned in this book, and it doesn't sound like he has a very close relationship with his grandparents (although they are doing a good job of taking care of him), so he feels a little bit lost. The illustrations are at their best when they're depicting Jack's grandfather (as on the cover), a quiet man with strength and peace. Also beautiful are the different shades used to show the sky: light blue, dark blue, white, purple, yellow, orange... Jack might be missing the vibrant colours of New Mexico, but the illustrations show how even when there's so much 'white' going on in winter, there can still be many different subtle details. This book will resonate with both animal lovers as well as children who are struggling to deal with changes in their lives.

I received a review copy from NetGalley courtesy of BJU Press.

Don't miss Gabriela Dellosso's website.

Find it at IndieBound. 

Read it with:
The Cranky Blue Crab by Dawn L. Watkins
Very Like a Star by Dawn L. Watkins
Karen's Plane Trip by Ann M. Martin

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