OWTK KidLit + Comics

Two Great Books for a One Big Snow Storm

The OWTK backyard, through the snow covered window.

Like much of the Eastern seaboard, my hometown is getting pounded today.  With nearly 2 feet of snow on the ground already, the Bear, the Mrs. and I (the Mouse is having a snowy sleepover with Mom mom and Pop pop) are spending pretty much the whole day indoors.

The Bear working on a painting

By 1pm, the Mrs. had made a mac-n-cheese & ham casserole as well as potato & leek soup. I did 2 loads of laundry. The Bear had painted, made her new Ogre figurine terrorize the old Fisher Price Little People, and cuddled up next to me for lots of books. We also caught the last 1/2-hour of the InFocus show Visions of Germany: Along the Rhine on HDNet (damn, there’s a lot of castles in Germany).

Re: the books – here are a couple of choice titles perfect for when blizzard conditions exist.

Houndsley & Catina and the Quiet Time

by James Howe

Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

The Mouse and I occasionally attend the free weekly storytime at a local indie bookstore.  On one of those Wednesdays in December, I discovered Houndsley & Catina and the Quiet Time.  The cover art was eye-catching, so I gave it my customary flip through (back to front) before landing on the 1st page, and reading this:

“It was the first snow of the winter.

Houndsley gazed out his window at the silent white falling everywhere.

The world had no shadows, only white on white on white.”

That’s some exquisite writing for any age, let alone the 5-7 range (and that opening passage isn’t even the best part! just the one that sold me on the book while still in the store).  I had a hunch that, before I even turned to read the next page, Houndsley & Catina and the Quiet Time would soon be vaulted into Owl Moon territory (for those not keeping score at home, Jane Yolen’s classic winter tale is my favorite kid’s book ever).  James Howe, the author of the Bunnicula series, delivers a mellow, beautiful tale celebrating the love of music, friendship, and the stillness of the winter season.  If you’ve got $5 to spend on a book, make it Houndsley & Catina and the Quiet Time. (There are a total of four Houndsley & Cantina titles under this intriguing 3-year old Candlewick Sparks young reader series).

The Snow Globe Family

by Jane O’Connor

Illustrated by S. D. Schindler

For those who think O’Connor is responsible only for the Fancy Nancy franchise, think again.  The Snow Globe Family, her 2006 story of a parallel pair of Victorian families at wintertime, has charmed my 6-year old.  The idea of an itsy bitsy family living inside a snow globe is a riot, as is the little baby who’s fascination with the decoration on the mantle sets the story in motion.


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