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The first day of winter
2005
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Summary

From renown picture book author Denise Fleming, a cozy, cumulative book to warm a cold winter day

Alive with swirling snow and lots of outdoor fun, the first ten days of winter bring special gifts for a special friend. This cumulative tale will have children chanting along as they discover all the trimmings needed for the most perfect snowman ever!

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
PreS-K-Told in a rhythm reminiscent of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," a snowman's tale begins, "On the first day of winter my best friend gave to me-/a red cap with a gold snap." The benefactor continues to deck out the snowman with two bright blue mittens for his stick hands; five birdseed pockets; nine big black buttons for his eyes, nose, and front; and, finally, 10 salty peanuts for his wintry toes. As in the holiday song, each time a new item is introduced, the story counts back to the first gift. Fleming captures the tranquility and light of snowy days with her unique artistic style. Her paper-pulp and stencil illustrations depict a winter wonderland in which vibrant striped scarves, blue mittens, and red hats provide the color in a white, uncluttered landscape. A squirrel, a mouse, a bird, a cat, a rabbit and a deer appear on each spread and seem to gaze at readers. The perspective shifts throughout the book, so on one page children look down on the snowman, while on others they look up at him from the ground. Readers finally see the snowman's friend, a bundled-up child, on the 10th day of winter. Quietly told and thoughtfully illustrated, Fleming's work celebrates the season and all of winter's creatures.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
PreS-K. Vibrant, handmade paper compositions illustrate this secular spin on The Twelve Days of Christmas. On the first day of winter my best friend gave to me . . . a red cap, read the words, as richly textured images show a snowman (unadorned except for a scarlet hat) in a wide, snowy field. On subsequent days, the snowman receives more presents (two bright blue mittens; three striped scarves, and so on) from his best friend, a young, toast-brown child--until he is fully outfitted with winter accessories, including the final ten salty peanuts. This is a winning choice on many levels. The beautiful illustrations, shown from unusual angles, contrast the vivid colors of cozy scarves, mittens, and curious animals (deer, squirrels) with the inviting white of the snow. The syllables of the text match easily with the tune of the familiar Christmas carol, making the book ideal for holiday lap sits. Fleming deepens the counting exercise with winter magic--the snowman who speaks, his friendship with a young child, and the simple, astonishing thrill of a snowy day. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2005 Booklist
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