In the Bleak Midwinter: A Flower in the Snow by Tracey Corderoy
IN AN ICY KINGDOM FAR AWAY LIVED A LITTLE GIRL NAMED LUNA.
LUNA LOVED TO CATCH SNOWFLAKES ON HER TONGUE, OR LEAVE LITTLE TIPPYTOE PATTERNS EVERYWHERE.
BUT THERE WAS ONE THING SHE LOVED MORE THAT ALL THIS.
HE WAS BIG AND SOFT AND CUDDLY AND WAS LUNA'S BEST FRIEND.
Luna and Bear share everything, even a case of the sniffles, for which they retreat to Luna's igloo to convalesce under her little plaid blankie.
But then one day Bear finds a beautiful golden flower blooming in the snow and picks it as a gift for Luna. Luna names it her "sunshine flower" and is thrilled with its warm color, but as all blooms do, finally it fades and droops. Luna is sad.
LUNA'S SPARKLY SMILE DISAPPEARED.
Determined to find Luna another such flower to rekindle her sparkling eyes and smile, Bear sets forth into the lands beyond his icy kingdom. He searches the world over without finding the equal of Luna's beloved sunshine flower.
Back at home Luna looks at the moon each night and longs for her best friend. She misses the flower, yes, but she realizes that she misses her Bear more. What can she do to make him return?
But when the footsore and dejected Bear returns, he finds that Luna has found a way to grow her golden flower from the seeds of his gift, and it lights the Arctic dusk like a beacon for Bear.
Tracey Corderoy's just-published wintry tale, A Flower in the Snow (Jabberwocky, 2012) uses the symbol of the golden bloom to frame the importance of love and loyalty well, but it is Sophie Allsopp's lovely illustrations which gives this fantasy parable substance through the warmth of her big, round Bear and little Luna in her enveloping parka and furry boots. The landscape and background are snow-white, with the artist's subtle use of color evoking the warmth of friendship. A quiet tale for just the right quiet moments with just the right child.