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by Andrea Cheng & illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-24023-3
Publisher: Putnam

Three elderly sisters reunite, and revisit their youthful playfulness, by connecting with a trio of imaginative neighbor girls. After a heavy snowfall, the narrator awakes to the outdoor play-acting of three little sisters. Their activity sparks memories, and she offers them her childhood recipe for lemon ice made from snow, complete with a bag of sugar and cut-up lemons. Suddenly sad and cold in her empty house, she retreats to bed, only to be roused by the knock of her far-flung sisters, home to surprise her for her birthday. Not to be outdone, the little girls (“We have big ears”) invite the women outside for a surprise of their own: a regal snow chair and lemon ice for each. The subject (elder ennui) and narrative elements (first-person present tense shifts to past tense for reminiscences) seem more suited for older readers. Nonetheless, Mai-Wyss’s illustrations, a cheerful mix of watercolor, gouache and collaged paper, serve to leaven and brighten the scenes. (Picture book. 4-7)