The old-fashioned feel of this extra-large board book invites exploration of the natural world.
Four-line rhyming stanzas on each spread describe the winter woods. In the first, “A little Christmas tree wakes up / and sparkles in the light.” The tree is never harvested; its only decorations are snow and birds. The sequence of events may confuse young children. Initially, the pictures are full of snow. By the third spread, the text and illustration hint at an early spring thaw, but on the next page snow starts to fall again, just in time for “this snowy Christmas night.” The book is pretty enough that this may not matter. Silver foil “snow” on the tree and snowflakes that decorate the otherwise matte pages invite touch. Finding the animals, bugs, and plants hinted at in the text becomes a lift-the-flap game, with most spreads including four flaps. Some are obvious; some blend in with the illustrations so effectively that the flaps can only be found by running a hand across the page. Some of the flaps are also quite small, making them difficult for tiny fingers to manipulate, but overall it is ideal for one-on-one reading and quiet conversation.
The sense of wonder and awe this artistic board book evokes should not be limited to the Christmas season. (Board book. 2-5)