Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Cold Snap

Cold Snap

Eileen Spinelli
Illustrator:  Marjorie Priceman 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Random House, 2012   ISBN: 978-0375857003

The town of Toby Mills is experiencing cold snowy weather. An icicle is dangling from the nose of the statue of General Toby, which stands in the town square. As soon as the children are released from school, they get busy playing in the snow, sledding down T-Bone hill, and skating on the pond.

On Saturday, the statue’s icicle is down to his chin and the front page headline in the Toby Mills Crier is telling everyone that the town is in for a cold snap. The Sullivan sisters, who work at the Sullivan Diner, offer their customers warming soup and stew to eat.

When they go outside on Sunday, the townspeople very quickly find out that the town really is experiencing a cold snap. The Moffat children and the Sullivan sisters sit shivering in the church, and Pastor Pickthorn’s teeth chatter, even though he is wearing his earmuffs, mittens, and an overcoat.

On Monday it is even colder. In fact it is so cold that one of the children pulls Miss Dove, the teacher, to school on a sled. The mayor even starts to get phone calls from people complaining about the weather, and of course there is very little that the poor man can do. Surely the cold snap cannot last much longer.

As one reads this wonderful seasonal title, it is hard not to start imagining that a chill is touching ones toes and fingers. The beautifully paired text and artwork follow the trials and tribulations of the people living in Toby Mills, and we get a real sense of what it might be like to experience a snowy cold snap.