Monday, December 21, 2020

Review - Once Upon a Winter Day

Once Upon a Winter Day

by Liza Woodruff
Date: 2020
Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

A boy learns that nature is full of stories to tell when he finds and follows a mouse's tracks in a wintery wood.

Milo wants a story, but his mom is too busy to entertain him. Instead, she encourages him to go out and play in the snow. At first, Milo is disappointed - he doesn't want to play outside, he wants a story.

But when he starts to follow a trail of mouse-prints, he discovers signs of activity all around, prompting him to ask, What happened here? Before long, he's using his imagination -- depicted in lush wordless spreads that capture the vividness of Milo's fantasies -- to fill in the gaps. By the time Milo comes home, he's the one with stories to tell.

A must have for the winter season, Liza Woodruff's Once Upon a Winter Day is a fun read-aloud that shares details about animal behavior from a child's perspective.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This is a nice little story about a boy who's looking for stories.

When Milo asks his mom for a story, she tells him to go outside and play instead. He doesn't want to, but he does anyway... and soon spots a tiny track in the snow. As he follows the mouse's footprints, he finds different objects and wonders about their origins. All the while, he's actually building a story, and when it comes time for him to return home, he has a story to tell his mother.

The illustrations are simple but effective, helping to tell the story as Milo moves through the snowy landscape. The reader learns a bit about animal behaviour along the way (who knew porcupines could climb trees?) and there's even a heart-stopping moment when it looks like the mouse may have met his doom.

While this didn't excite me personally, I think it could be a great fit for readers who are interested in animals and what they do in winter.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.33 out of 5

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