Reviews for Cold Snap

Booklist Reviews 2012 September #1
*Starred Review* It's winter in Toby Mills, a town where the children are taking full advantage of the snowy hills for winter fun. But each day, from Saturday to Friday, the temperature falls and the icicles lengthen. Though the townspeople help one another as best they can, they become increasingly stressed by the bitter, relentless cold. When the mayor announces a "winter surprise," his shivering neighbors leave their homes that evening and trudge to the top of T-bone Hill, where a blazing bonfire warms their spirits and marks the end of the cold snap. A recipe for "Miss Dove's sugar-on-snow candy," served at the surprise celebration, is appended. Spinelli creates a keen sense of frigid weather and a strong sense of community in the text, which portrays the experience by spotlighting one person after another, from the café owners knitting a sweater for their cat to the mayor working late in "his toasty pink bunny slippers." Full of color and activity, Priceman's vivid gouache paintings offer many opportunities to watch the same characters engage in different activities from day to day. In both the writing and the artwork, colorful details bring the story to life. This shows just how warm cold can be. A delight for sharing, especially one-on-one. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2013 January
Stories to warm winter's chill

January is the month for snow and cold and ice. Whether you live with snowy weather, or wish you did, pour a mug of cocoa and share these three picture books with your favorite little snowman.


Husband and wife team Caralyn and Mark Buehner have come up with an intriguing idea in Snowmen at Work, the fourth book in their popular Snowmen series. What if snowmen had actual jobs as dentists, mechanics, grocers and the like? Sparkling oil-and-acrylic paintings pop with energy and allow the Buehners to create warm and humorous scenes on every page. Each spread includes four hidden characters—cat, mouse, T. rex and rabbit—adding to the fun. Readers will have to slow down to find these little critters, but the search will allow them time to appreciate the charms of each detailed illustration.


Bunnies on Ice is Johanna Wright’s tribute to ice skaters of all levels. Reminding us that, as in many life events, “you have to wait for the conditions to be just right,” Wright takes us through spring planting, summer swimming and harvest. This trip through the seasons allows the reader and lap-listener to slow down and enjoy the journey. Wright’s gentle acrylic-and-ink illustrations, in her signature naïve style, are filled with details that amuse both the eye and the heart. The members of the bunny family enjoy one another as they celebrate life together—gardening, swimming, raking, cooking, building a scarecrow, making music and, at last, skating. I always want to join the families that Wright constructs, especially if it means I could bundle up and skate on a frozen lake.


The town of Toby Mills is cold. Very cold. After a few days of sub-freezing weather, the local paper declares what the townspeople already know: It’s a cold snap! Veterans Eileen Spinelli and Marjorie Priceman team up in Cold[Thu Aug 21 18:01:29 2014] Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\ line 249. Snap, a brisk tale of one town as it handles a long period of cold weather. A statue of the town founder is at the center of the story. Actually, his nose is at the center of the story. The icicle that slowly grows from it is an unusual calendar of cold, but a humorous one that serves as a wonderful anchor for the story. Illustrations, in vivid, mostly primary-colored gouache, highlight a week of bone-chilling cold, but also show how warm a community can be. Millie and Chip throw snowballs, kids race down T-Bone Hill on their toboggans and skis, townspeople warm themselves in the diner, knitters create warm hats, and ice skaters race around the pond. As the week unfolds, the townspeople get colder and colder, shivering in their church pews, getting stuck inside frozen train doors, and suffering with broken furnaces. Priceman’s breezy style, all movement and energy, is a perfect fit with Spinelli’s staccato, happening text. Readers will want to stay in Toby Mills longer than the week—maybe long enough to enjoy some sugar-on-snow.

Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
The residents of Toby Mills experience bitterly cold temperatures while enjoying sledding, cooking, and other pursuits, including hunkering down to stay warm. Lively narrative pacing paired with Priceman's cheerful illustrations offer plenty of action while grounding the time frame with the lengthening icicle that forms on the town's General Toby statue from the tip of his prominent nose to the ground.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 October #1
A community caught under the pall of a weeklong cold snap comes together in this cozy, old-fashioned story that is high on both charm and appeal. The Toby Mills cold snap begins innocently enough on a Friday, with snow angels, sledding and an icicle on the nose of the statue of the town founder. On Saturday, soup and stew are popular menu items at the diner, and the icicle is chin-length. On Sunday, the heavily clothed townspeople shiver through church services. Wednesday is so cold that the mayor wears his robe and pink bunny slippers…at work. By Friday, the statue's icicle reaches the ground, along with everyone's patience. But the mayor's wife has just the solution--a warm winter surprise that brings out the best in everyone and makes them forget the cold. The quaint details in Spinelli's text that are brought to life in Priceman's gouache illustrations make this book stand out, giving it the air of an old-fashioned seek-and-find. "Franky Tornetta stopped whining about his itchy woolen socks and put on three pairs," and there he is in the picture, green socks layered over red and yellow. Boldly colored vignettes and spreads that depict the small-town setting and round-headed, pink-cheeked characters enhance the retro feel of the book. This may not be the most exciting or enthralling winter tale, but it is perfect for sharing during readers' own cold snaps--calming, reassuring, charming. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection Reviews 2013 January/February
In the town of Toby Mills, winter comes with a vengeance. The cold is measured by the length of the icicle that is attached to the nose of the statue in the town square. At first the icicle only hangs from the nose, the next day the icicle is longer. Each day the icicle grows longer, and the citizens cope in a variety of unique ways. At the end of the week, the mayor invites the whole town to a "Winter Surprise" which includes a bonfire, hot cider, and dancing. The next day the icicle and the cold snap shatter and the weather begins to heat up. This detailed story will give children an insight into winter activities. Illustrations and simple narration makes this a great addition to elementary winter collections. Recommended. Beverly Combs, Librarian, Parsons PreKindergarten School, Garland, Texas. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 October #1

Winter fun becomes a little less so for the denizens of Toby Mills when a deep freeze descends upon their quaint small town. The first cold day is filled with sledding and snowballs, and the icicle hanging from the nose of a town statue is barely there. By week's end, the mercury has fallen steadily, shivering townsfolk have had their fill of trying to stay warm, and the icicle on General Toby's nose has reached the ground. Luckily, the mayor's wife comes up with a fiery, community-minded plan. From cocoa and sweaters to hot-water bottles, Spinelli (A Big Boy Now) catalogues all the ways people find warmth in winter; despite the harsh weather, her story has a nostalgic tone. Working in vibrant gouache, Priceman (Jazz Age Josephine) creates cheery winter wonderlands both indoors and out. Children in bright stocking caps and mittens whiz by on toboggans, and bundled-up customers sip "steamy soup and bubbling stew" at the local diner. She dots her fluffy snowscape with a rainbow of colorful houses, creating a cozy village that readers will long to visit, regardless of the forecast. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

K-Gr 3--As the temperature drops in the town of Toby Mills, children stop playing outside, pets need sweaters, and adults start complaining to the mayor. Churchgoers huddle together, and Pastor Pickthorn preaches in earmuffs and an overcoat. After the furnaces and trains freeze up and the town becomes known as the new North Pole, the mayor's wife invites everyone to a bonfire on top of T-Bone Hill. Before the citizens can forget the fun they had that night, the cold snap ends with the shattering of an icicle that has been growing off the nose of a well-known statue in town. Although the glittery snow on the book's cover doesn't extend to the illustrations inside, the cool hues and imagery convey memories of chilly winter days. Full-page art and spreads, rendered in gouache, focus on characters young and old in this racially diverse town. Busy scenes show myriad activities, with snow-covered shops and houses in the background. Miss Dove's Sugar-On-Snow Candy recipe is included. Perfect for cozy sharing on a frosty, frigid day.--Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada

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