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by Leda Schubert & illustrated by Mary Azarian

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 24th, 2005
ISBN: 0-618-41605-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Rural Northern Vermont is heartwarming through all seasons when neighbors help each other. At four a.m. one winter morning, the temperature two degrees below zero, an older man named Darrell pulls on his boots and heads out to plow his neighbors’ driveways. One neighbor child jumps into his lap and helps steer for a minute. The next vignette shows spring, in which Darrell chops wood; the recipients don’t know when they’ll be able to pay, but Darrell cares more about keeping their kids warm through the spring chill. Summer and fall show Darrell helping again—though never fixing his own barn roof, a fact that worries his wife. When gusty winds blow the barn roof clean away, neighbors gather for a roof-raising and some functional gratitude. In this community, organic warmth emerges from action. Azarian’s folksy, unpretentious woodcuts are hand-tinted with cheerful watercolors, bringing to life the four New England seasons and the friendly, practical relationships they can foster. (Picture book. 3-6)