Saturday, February 18, 2012

Snowy Snitcher: Red Sled by Lila Judge

Scrunch Scrinch.

Twilight is closing in on a snow-covered cottage, and a red-stocking-capped lad, pulling his red sled behind him, is scrunching through the dry snow toward home. Leaning his trusty toboggan against the wall beside the door, he clocks out for the day, ready for a warm supper and some sleepy time.

But watching nearby, ready for a sledding night shift, is a large round bear with his eyes on that sled. Stealthily he approaches the sled, resting by the door. Success!

Scrunch Scrinch...

Our furry sled snitcher scrunches off with his purloined prize undetected, and heads for a downhill run. One big ursian push and he's off.


But unnoticed, Bear has picked up a backseat passenger for his run--Rabbit, who lets out his own ululation:


But on the next downhill slide, Bear picks up a couple more passengers, some young raccoons and their fellow traveler, Possum, who drop out of their tree and cling to the sled right behind Rabbit. Their vehicle is becoming a bit hefty, and it rides low in the snow, heading for a snowdrift collision:


Lita Judge's brand-new Red Sled(Atheneum, 2011) is an (almost) wordless picture book, narrated only by onomatopoetic sounds, as her well-crafted images spin out a snow fantasy that any kid would envy, with a satisfying conclusion in which the sledding adventure comes full cycle, with the red sled again leaning against the cottage wall as the dawn breaks. Judge's deft touches of red in the gray and white snowdrifted setting and the infectiously funny expressions of the sled's hangers-on make this a picture book to remember for snow time.

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