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"Cold Snap" by Eileen Spinelli


March 6, 2013

According to the book jacket for Cold Snap,  children's author Eileen Spinelli "wears her favorite fuzzy brown sweater and cooks pots of three-bean chili" during Pennsylvania cold snaps.

She also gets creative.

As the the icicle dangling from the statue of General Toby's nose grows longer, the townsfolk of Toby Mills greet a winter cold snap with cheerful frosty-pink cheeks, snowball fights and new "mittens as big as flapjacks". Not to mention plenty of hot chocolate, lemony tea and steamy soup.  But once the fun wears off and the cold slogs on, what's a town to do?

As might be expected when the temperature dips even lower, a little whining, complaining and persnicketiness ensues. But the townsfolk of Toby Mills also dig in and, like their author, get creative. There are "bring your own blanket" movies in the chilly theatre, sweater-coats for pets, and, for the mayor, toasty pink bunny slippers and a bathrobe to wear at the office. Eventually, the cold helps the townsfolk fire up their imaginations, and soon they are celebrating a well-deserved "Winter Surprise" on a hilltop, under a "moon as silver as sleet".

A warm and cozy read, Marjorie Priceman's swirling illustrations capture all the slipping, sliding, and slogging of a small-town winter with charm and good cheer.

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