The text isn't as powerful as the pictures. The story concerns two children, a brother and sister, caught in an Icelandic weather phenomenon--an earthquake followed by a volcanic eruption followed by a blizzard. There is never any real doubt built up that the children will make it home. Trapped on the wrong side of a deep fissure, they are further hampered by a pregnant pony, whose response to the frightening weather is to foal. The birth scene is handled with delicacy and dignity, but the real strength is in the illustrator's powerful lines and use of color, proving yet again why she has been a repeated runner-up for the Caldecott medal. The turbulent trek ends with the children safe at home, but the essential dramatic tension is not present nor has the sense of cold been communicated to the extent that the final safety and warmth make the necessary satisfying contrast.