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Grandmother Winter

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  84 ratings  ·  26 reviews
All through the spring, summer and fall, Grandmother Winter tends her geese and gathers their feathers. Why? To bring snowfall, of course-snowfall as soft as feathers and bright as a winter moon. With a poetic text and distinctive scratchboard illustrations, this book reveals that there is indeed magic and charm in our coldest season. To the woodland and all of its creatur ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 27th 1999 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Kathryn
A very special story that is like a love letter to winter. Based on a folktale, this story tells of "Grandmother Winter" who makes a down quilt throughout the year (thanks to her special geese) and then shakes it over the world to bring in the winter snows. Despite the whimsy in premise, there is also some good science here as we get glimpses into how various creatures survive the winter by going underground, etc. The illustrations really stole the show for me--scratchboard illustrations tinted ...more
Cheryl
Just didn't work for me, and I'm not sure it would for children. I'll have to look at other reviews and hope parents/librarians have reported kids' reactions. After all, it doesn't really matter how creative a book is, or how artistic the illustrations are, if the little ones aren't enjoying it. I read it in McDermitt's library while visiting that hamlet.

Oh, I just realized I know that author's name. Goodness she creates a diversity of books. I'll have to investigate her oeuvre (love that word :
...more
Bunnyjadwiga
My five year old let me read it to him at least twice so far, and I loved it, thus the five stars. Like Big Mama Makes the World this has the feel of a folk tale or myth, even though it's not part of a tradition... The theme is how the (Northern North American) world settles down for winter, with the implied but not stated idea that when Grandmother Winter shakes her feather quilt it begins to snow. So it would be useful for seasonal units in schools, mythic/origin tales in schools, or for Neopa ...more
Megan D. Neal
My girls were confused by this story until I explained the concept of Grandmother Winter. Then we read it again and they could enjoy it. Gorgeous illustrations.
Beth
Aelia loves this book and I do too. The illustrations look like woodblock print and are very engaging.
Karen
What an incredibly gorgeous book! Even in the Year of the Forever Winter.

The story itself was very good: A lilting, gently-told folk tale. There were a few places were I wanted to rearrange the words to flow a bit better, but overall, very good writing.

The illustrations, however, could not possibly be improved. Phenomenal and exquisite might not be high enough praise. I NEED to find more works by this artist/illustrator.

Makenzie Sliva
Grandmother Winter is a sweet story about "Grandmother Winter" and how she collects feathers from her flock of geese to create snow in the winter. She spends fall, spring and summer collecting the feathers to make it snow as soon as the winter comes around. The feathers are a great metaphor for the reader and it adds an interesting aspect to the story. The story was somewhat simple and straight-forward. This book had beautiful illustrations throughout it. Beth Krommes used the scratchboard techn ...more
Bvlmc Buchanan Verplanck Elementary School
Grandmother winter collects feathers from her flock of geese all spring and spends summer gardening before working on her feather quilt in fall. When she shakes it out to settle down to sleep in the winter you can guess what happens.
Lobstergirl
I wanted to track down more of Beth Krommes after seeing her Caldecott-winning picture book, The House in the Night. Here her scratchboard illustrations are in a calm, muted palette. Phyllis Root's story is a folktale about a grandmother who gathers goose feathers to stuff in a quilt, which she then shakes over the landscape to make snowflakes fall. The text and pictures are nicely matched in tone.

Ayashe
A simple story, with beautiful illustrations.
Ami
The story was so-so, and while I did like the seasonal journey, and the metaphor Grandmother herself (reminded me of Z. Budapest's Grandmother of Time), the part that really grabbed me was the art. Amazing scratchboard illustrations (how is this related to woodcut/lino/block printing? must. do. research!) that I think were colored in later, possibly with watercolor. Way awesome. I could dive into those negative-space-created trees for hours. And I think I will.
Dolly
Jan 17, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2011, childrens
This is a nice story about Grandmother Winter. But what really caught my eye were the gorgeous illustrations, created with scratchboard and watercolors. Our girls love to create designs on scratchboard, so I was thrilled to be able to show them what can be done with this medium. It is so old-fashioned looking and the pictures are fun to look at. We especially loved the pictures of the turtles and frogs hibernating.
Matthew
This is a great book, full of metaphor, about where winter comes from. The writing in this book could be used in so many ways as strong examples of an abundance of different things. Possibly my favorite Phyllis Root book, and that's a tough call with her books.
Geoff
Wonderful scratchboard illustrations support this charming Winter tale. It reminds us of one of the stories in Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions, which involves a visit to Grandmother Winter.
Janet
Having heard a form of snowflake refered to as goose feathers, this story had a certain charm about it, The scratchboard illustrations which indicated a folk art style were pleasing,
Ann
A look at the change of seasons through a bit of a pagan eye. A magical and poetic take on the coming of winter each year.
Po
What a beautiful book. You don't even need to read it to enjoy it. A nice book to read when it's chilly outside.
Samantha Penrose
Although the story was nothing amazing, the illustrations are fantastic, and I would recommend it for that reason.
Kari
I really love this story about winter. I can just imagine the goose feathers being collected through the year. ;)
Deb
Considered for story time, a little too advanced for the age group. Love the illustrations though!
Holly
Magical illustrations, leads to fun discussion about winter.
Shelli
Interesting take on how Grandma Winter brings the new season.
Michelle
A beautiful and mystical look at winter.
Jessica
Magical explanation for winter and snow
Sarah
LOVE the woodcuts.
Tara
Tara added it
Jan 29, 2015
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33886
"Picture books are performances," says Phyllis Root, quoting some sage advice she once received. "They're performances that involve a child--something both of you do. And once I started thinking of them that way, I started getting much looser about making up words and playing around with rhythm."

Phyllis Root picked up an early affinity for colloquial language while growing up in Indiana and south
...more
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