UP NORTH IN THE WINTER by Deborah Hartley
Kirkus Star


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The narrator's dad tells him about a winter when he was a boy up North. Grandpa had to take a job in a distant town for a dollar a day. One weekend he missed the train and decided to take the short-cut home, six miles through wind and snow, across the frozen lake. He found what he thought was a dead fox, halfway across and ""pretty well frozen himself,"" and knew its pelt would bring ten dollars; but on arriving home, the thawed fox jumped to life and ran off. A rich, satisfying picture book, this conveys with humor and warmth the hardship and determination of people to survive as a family. Dad rhythmically throws in such aphoristic refrains as ""A man has to find work where he can,"" reflecting the staunch philosophy of the book. That fox might have saved Grandpa's life, Dad says at the end, and this brash with mortality has been comfortably turned into a story polished by family retelling. The cold of the winter night, the faraway lights of home, the warmth of the family kitchen, and the joyously resurrected fox are all captured intimately and sensitively in Dabcovich's illustrations.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1986
Publisher: Dutton