From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
*Starred Review* It's winter in Toby Mills, a town where the children are taking full advantage of the snowy hills for winter fun. But each day, from Saturday to Friday, the temperature falls and the icicles lengthen. Though the townspeople help one another as best they can, they become increasingly stressed by the bitter, relentless cold. When the mayor announces a winter surprise, his shivering neighbors leave their homes that evening and trudge to the top of T-bone Hill, where a blazing bonfire warms their spirits and marks the end of the cold snap. A recipe for Miss Dove's sugar-on-snow candy, served at the surprise celebration, is appended. Spinelli creates a keen sense of frigid weather and a strong sense of community in the text, which portrays the experience by spotlighting one person after another, from the cafe owners knitting a sweater for their cat to the mayor working late in his toasty pink bunny slippers. Full of color and activity, Priceman's vivid gouache paintings offer many opportunities to watch the same characters engage in different activities from day to day. In both the writing and the artwork, colorful details bring the story to life. This shows just how warm cold can be. A delight for sharing, especially one-on-one.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
School Library Journal
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K-Gr 3-As the temperature drops in the town of Toby Mills, children stop playing outside, pets need sweaters, and adults start complaining to the mayor. Churchgoers huddle together, and Pastor Pickthorn preaches in earmuffs and an overcoat. After the furnaces and trains freeze up and the town becomes known as the new North Pole, the mayor's wife invites everyone to a bonfire on top of T-Bone Hill. Before the citizens can forget the fun they had that night, the cold snap ends with the shattering of an icicle that has been growing off the nose of a well-known statue in town. Although the glittery snow on the book's cover doesn't extend to the illustrations inside, the cool hues and imagery convey memories of chilly winter days. Full-page art and spreads, rendered in gouache, focus on characters young and old in this racially diverse town. Busy scenes show myriad activities, with snow-covered shops and houses in the background. Miss Dove's Sugar-On-Snow Candy recipe is included. Perfect for cozy sharing on a frosty, frigid day.-Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Winter fun becomes a little less so for the denizens of Toby Mills when a deep freeze descends upon their quaint small town. The first cold day is filled with sledding and snowballs, and the icicle hanging from the nose of a town statue is barely there. By week's end, the mercury has fallen steadily, shivering townsfolk have had their fill of trying to stay warm, and the icicle on General Toby's nose has reached the ground. Luckily, the mayor's wife comes up with a fiery, community-minded plan. From cocoa and sweaters to hot-water bottles, Spinelli (A Big Boy Now) catalogues all the ways people find warmth in winter; despite the harsh weather, her story has a nostalgic tone. Working in vibrant gouache, Priceman (Jazz Age Josephine) creates cheery winter wonderlands both indoors and out. Children in bright stocking caps and mittens whiz by on toboggans, and bundled-up customers sip "steamy soup and bubbling stew" at the local diner. She dots her fluffy snowscape with a rainbow of colorful houses, creating a cozy village that readers will long to visit, regardless of the forecast. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.