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Winter Discoveries

These two new picture books are winter tales that focus on the joy of discovery.  Maybe they'll inspire YOU to open your eyes and ears to adventure this winter season.

Camilla, Cartographer by Julie Dillemuth (10/08/19)
Camilla the warthog collects maps. Maps of stars, New York, even the London Tube. She even owns an ancient map of her forest. Unfortunately for her, she believes all lands have been explored and there is nothing new to chart. However, with a snowy morning comes a new opportunity. When her hedgehog neighbor, Parsley, asks for her help in finding the creek, Camilla quivers with excitement when she realizes the snow-covered land “is uncharted territory.” With all landmarks covered in snow, Camilla and Parsley must use their spatial-reasoning skills and a compass to find a new way to the creek. Their trailblazing journey proves a challenge as they keep bumping into trees, rocks, and walls. But when they find the creek, Camilla will have all the information and tools ready to draw out a new map, to break out in case of another snowfall. Wood’s delightful illustrations and Dillemuth’s expertise in the matter engage readers in the woodland creatures’ adventures. In addition, Dillemuth, who holds a doctorate in geography, provides activities in the backmatter for parents and caregivers to help children develop their own spatial-reasoning skills, such as sketching and reading maps or using cardinal directions. [from Kirkus Reviews]

A Fox Found a Box by Ged Adamson (10/28/19)
When Fox finds a radio while digging for food in the snow, he and his forest companions become transfixed by the music it produces, finding that it has the power to affect their feelings.  When the box stops making noise, the animals try to revive it. “But nothing would make the box sing again.” This newly recaptured quietude permits Fox to hear the “drip! drop! drip! drop!” of water droplets making a puddle. “Fox’s whole body moved to the drip-drop beat.” The other animals hear forest sounds, too: the whooshing wind, chattering geese, the “crunch-crunch of snow…[a]nd the gurgle-gurgle of the river.” Their senses quicken to all that their wintry habitat affords. “And every night, the animals would…let the forest sing them to sleep.” (Sharp-eyed kids will note that Owl is awake.) Adamson’s onomatopoeic text pays fond tribute to music’s power to evoke and shape emotions. His narrative presents children with lovely examples of nature’s own ability to sing to us, if we open our senses. Washy watercolors, accented with colored pencil against plenty of white space, charmingly portray the creatures’ expressions of wonderment, anxiety, and contentment. [from Kirkus Reviews]

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