Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer
Publisher: Clarion Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Snow is coming, and it’s time to get ready! The squirrel gathers nuts, the geese soar south, and the snowshoe hare puts on its new white coat. But what should the fox do? Each animal advises the fox that its own plan is best, but the fox thinks otherwise—yet it’s not until he meets a golden-eyed friend that he finds the perfect way to celebrate the snowfall.

Stunning illustrations by the new talent Richard Jones are the perfect complement to the Newbery Honor winner Marion Dane Bauer’s lyrical and playful homage to the natural world.

Surviving the winter should be easy if you have a good plan.

This was such a poetic picture book. The words rolled off my tongue smoothly as I read it aloud. I especially enjoyed the lines that talked about the fox’s reasons for not taking the same approach to winter that other animals did. He obviously couldn’t spin a cocoon, fly, or dig a place to hide in the mud all winter. The way these ideas were shared with the audience were simultaneously amusing, beautiful, and completely impractical. This combination of emotions often felt like pure poetry in and of itself, and it only made me more curious to see what the fox’s eventual solution to the winter dilemma might be.

I would have liked to see a little more time spent explaining what foxes do in the winter and why they do it. There was so much time spent building up to this moment that I felt slightly let down by the small amount of story space that was given to exploring this part of a fox’s life. This became even more true once I realized that this section was based on things that real foxes have been known to actually do in the wild on snowy days.

The fox was such a friendly, curious, and sociable character. I truly enjoyed getting to know him as he wandered around the forest talking to the other animals and trying to decide how he’d spend the winter. No matter what he thought of the suggestions he received, he was always polite to the animals who were trying to help him in the best ways they knew how to.

Winter Dance was a wholesome read.

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