Two animals push off their hibernation to see the beauty of snow in this charming picture book from debut writer McCoy and veteran illustrator Svensson (The Alchemy of the Little Red Frog, 2017, etc.).
Bear and Toad sit in the snow, even though they should be hibernating. When questioned by a snowshoe hare, the bear explains that they want to enjoy wintertime scenes. Toad bemoans the fact that she’s only seen spring and summer weather before, missing out on “snowflakes drifting, / Like diamonds from the sky, brightly sifting,” as well as snowmen, sleighs, and tundra swans. In rhyming couplets, Bear and Toad celebrate the aspects of winter that they’ve missed, making the first half of the book a delightful ode to the season. However, the hare protests that the two are turning blue and should hibernate. With familiar bedtime-protest refrains (“Just a minute or an hour more”; “I’m not even tired”), Bear and Toad stay up until night falls and they can’t see any more. Some words may be a struggle for newly independent readers, but for listeners, the rhymes scan beautifully. The cartoonish illustrations are also pleasing, if not particularly inspiring.
A whimsical celebration of winter and an excellent choice for lap readers at bedtime.