The idea of “cozy”—hyggelig in Danish and Gemütlichkeit in German but not so nuanced in English—is what drives this deliciously illustrated, rhymed seasonal tale.
The pictures are a riot of color and pattern. Readers move through the seasons, starting with autumn, with items one might not think of as cozy but that definitely are: “Cozy toes in fuzzy boots, cozy pits in purple fruits.” Several families of varying ethnicities populate these pages, and their activities display coziness: mom playing the banjo; dad at a sewing machine; everyone collecting a pumpkin in the rain. Braided loaves of bread, popcorn popping and Grandma tickling the belly of a pajama-clad toddler are all cozy. So are bugs in their flowers and keys in their pockets. Sometimes the rhyme doesn’t quite catch, and sometimes it stretches beyond, but the images of “[c]ozy matzo balls in soup” or a scoop of ice cream cozy in its cone are pretty cute. Winter opens with three children on a quilted, padded window seat, watching the snow fall, while a parent in the kitchen flips hot cakes. The children’s pajamas, the hall rug, snow falling on the rainbow-colored cityscape—all make a kaleidoscope of pattern that one can return to again and again. Every page is like that.
It is worth noting that this title is printed and bound in the United States and that its paper is labeled “from responsible sources.” That would not help a less effective tale, but it truly enhances this 32-page delight. (Picture book. 4-7)