Friday, November 04, 2016

In Its Own Time! Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold

Hedgehog found Badger staring at the sky.
"What are you doing, Badger?"

"Waiting for snow. It's winter and I haven't seen one snowflake."

Hedgehog counsels that he can't rush snow time, but for Badger, snow time is no time to wait patiently. He drags out some pots and pans and drums up some racket.

"Wake up, Sky! It's time for snow!"

No snow follows. Badger's friends come running and try to help.

Rabbit throws pebbles at the sky to poke some snow holes in the clouds. Rocks rain back down, but no snow falls.

Wise Hedgehog advises that things come in their own season, but the snow seekers aren't convinced. Vole suggests his granny's remedy, a snow dance.

They stomped and rocked.

They bopped and boogied.

But no twirling snowflakes show up to dance with them. Hedgehog urges forbearance, reminding his impatient friends that in due time the stars always come out and the sun also rises, but Possum cites an old superstition that sleeping in pajamas put on backwards will make it snow. Badger follows suit, putting his toy bunny and books backwards on his bookshelf for even more snow mojo, and climbs onto the foot of his bed for the night.

But in the morning it's no go for the snow.

Badger's friends try sifting sugar down on Badger's windowsill. But faux snow is no snow either.

There's nothing left for Badger's friends to do but make some fair weather fun for themselves while they wait.

For everything there is a season, in Marsha Diane Arnold's latest, Waiting for Snow (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), in which young snow-lovers learn that snow can come when you least expect it. Waiting is hard for youngsters. "As slow as Christmas" is an old simile that shows how long a wait for an long-anticipated holiday or first snowfall can seem to the youngest weather watchers. Arnold's gently humorous text portrays that eager expectancy, building a bit of suspense as times goes by, and noted artist Renata Liwska (see Deborah Underwood's The Quiet Book) offers softly portrayed, plushy animals in pencil drawings and muted hues that add the proper hush to the hoped-for final snow scene. Things come to those who wait, and Badger is rewarded at last with a chance to roll a huge snowball in the first snowfall of winter.

For a perfect pair of snow stories, share this one with Arnold's Lost. Found.

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