As December gradually eases its way into open fields and cloudless skies, here is a book that found me from the library shelves and which I believe is perfect for our current bimonthly theme as it talks about the glittering sparks found in the heavens.
This book showcases a lovely friendship between spring and winter as exemplified by rabbit and bear. As the towering figure of bear noted:
“It is not wise,” the brown bear said,
“to ask of snow your daily bread
when springs are still and berries few.
My cave is big enough for two.”
While I am not usually a fan of rhyming verse in children’s books, Pinkney’s luminous illustrations make me want to reach out and touch the fur on bear’s back and rabbit’s belly. I could also sense rabbit’s impatience, his sense of confinement, and desire to “somersault downhill” and taste the snow on his tongue. As rabbit noted:
“How I should love a little snack,
a tuft of grass, a bunch of bark,
a star to tame the lonely dark.”
How the story ends, I shall leave for you to discover. There is a glorious three-page spread that powerfully depicts rabbit’s exuberant spirit and boundless energy; and full page spreads showing bear’s peaceful slumber, oblivious to everything around him.
Teachers who wish to use this in the classroom could explore the striking contrast among these two creatures and reflect on one’s nature and the power of the elements in shaping it.
A Starlit Snowfall by Nancy Willard and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Little, Brown & Company, 1993. Book borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.
Read-a-Latte Award: 242 (150)