During a treacherous winter storm, a family anxiously waits for their mail-carder father to come home. In a unique and effective design, readers are also held in suspense, anticipating the title page, which appears on the eighth page of the story, after the tension is built. The mother ""worries up"" some rolls in the kitchen while the protagonist, Thomas, stares out the window and looks forward to his father's return with visions of together-time playing in the snow. But when the father comes home, he is ill. The family tends to him, riveted by his tales of braving the storm; although he cannot participate in snowball fights or sledding, the children are happy that he's safely home where he belongs. Catalanotto combines winter watercolors and pencil to create contrasts in the cozy safety of home and the chilling blizzard outside; above full-color scenes of the family are two-color visions, realistic (playing in the snow) and imaginary (an angel speeding the father home). Through the narrative and illustration technique, two stories emerge--one of family togetherness, and another of a dedicated, hardworking hero.