A sudden snowstorm leaves forest animals out in the cold.
Peter’s small house sits “all draped in white.” He’s snug in bed in his white nightshirt when he hears a knock at the door. “Please let me in,” a voice cries. “I’m f-f-freezing!” Peter, a large white man with red hair and mustache, finds a hare out in the snow and invites him in. After getting dressed, Peter fills the stove with wood and gets a nice fire going. Both are nodding off when there’s another knock at the door. It’s the fox, frozen from top to toe. The hare pleads with Peter to ignore the fox. “Foxes have a nasty habit / Of eating things that look like rabbit.” Fox promises to be good, and Peter lets him in. One more creature disturbs their slumber, a big brown bear. Peter plays peacemaker, and all settle down to sleep as the storm rages outside. Next morning, all is clear, and the animals venture back into the forest, one by one, before Peter awakens. Tracks in the snow tell him this wasn’t a dream. Michels’ verse feels easy; Michl depicts animals with care, and Peter looks like a Maurice Sendak child all grown up. The story is a bit thin, but the book captures a wintry mood and is handsomely designed; each double-page spread has a beautiful, white-bordered illustration on one side and ample white space for a small vignette and a stanza or two on the other.
Quiet and nifty. (Picture book. 4-7)