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Winter Is Coming
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Winter Is Coming

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  467 ratings  ·  135 reviews
“A quiet, beautiful picture book to share.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This gentle, lyrical celebration of the natural world will reward similarly observant readers.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“A touching reminder about the beauty of the natural world.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

“With meditative language, Johnston offers a vivid sense of the changing se
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This exquisitely illustrated story is about a young girl watching what is happening around her when the seasons change from fall to winter.
Mariah Roze
Dec 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a cute story about a girl's observation of how animals prepare for the winter.
Unbelievably gorgeous, and done with great respect for nature.
The text is beautiful. The illustrations are gorgeous. Overall, the book is a all around winner. Jim LaMarche has long been one of my favorite illustrators, so whenever I see a new book by him I have to get it. But in this case I ended up loving the text in verse as much as the illustrations. The soft and expressive illustrations demonstrate the joy that can come in watching the seasons change. The text allows the reader to feel the joy the girl feels as she sees the animals searching for food, ...more
Henry Martin
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A wonderful book following the change of seasons through the eyes of a little girl as she goes to the same spot, every day, to see what animals come and how they behave. Some pretty important life lessons in there, as well.
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Winter is coming.

If only the fools fighting over the Iron Throne could be made to understand the way this young girl does.

Winter is coming.

Her parents seem wise, if prone to trite statements. We know how that works out for people.

Winter is coming.
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a cold September day.
Fall is still here but ice
is in the air. I feel it.
Winter is coming.

Fabulous through and through. Winter Is Coming is a truly beautiful children's book in every aspect - from the lyrical writing and gorgeously depicted autumn atmosphere, to the absolutely phenomenal illustrations by Jim LaMarche.

A young girl sensitive to the nature, curious and obviously quite knowledgeable observes animals carefully from her hiding spot - a platform up in a tree - as they're preparin
Linda Lipko
A girl takes her sketch pad into the woods and quietly observes the transition from summer to fall. There is a soft introspection and the feeling of calm, hushed time. There is no need to hurry and run in place; it is a time to be quiet and observe. The illustrations are incredible!!!!!
Edward Sullivan
Sep 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, nature
A beautifully illustrated nature story about a young girl observing the changes that come as fall turns to winter.
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"We can learn from animals...About patience. About truth. About quiet."
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
A picture book paean to autumn and the changes it brings to the animal world. Johnston's lyrical depiction and LaMarche's glorious illustrations capture the spirit and beauty of the season.
Carrie Gelson
Absolutely beautiful!
Benji Martin
Jul 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
There isn't much story here, but it's a very beautiful book.
Nancy Kotkin
An illustrated poem about the transition from fall to winter. There is no story line in this picture book, just a compilation of images and observations, mostly about animal behavior as winter approaches. The refrain of "Winter is coming" works until the end; with a blanket of snow, it feels as if winter has arrived.
Madison Monaco
Title: Winter Is Coming
Author: Tony Johnston
Illustrator: Jim LaMarche
Genre: Picture book, poetry
Themes: winter, seasons, animals, patience
Opening line/sentence: “It is a cold September day.”
Brief Book Summary: A young girl goes to her favorite spot in the woods each day and observes all the changes being made as the seasons change.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
Carolyn Phelan (Booklist)
On a cold September day, a girl takes her binoculars, sketch pad, and pencils outdoors to draw the wild
Cathy Mealey
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Autumn has been an exceptionally glorious, colorful riot in New England this year. As a result of summer’s drought, many stressed trees produced more vibrant leaves due to the concentrated sugars in their saps. After those leaves fade and fall, Winter is Coming is the perfect book to celebrate the second phase of the season.

A young girl with binoculars and a sketchpad silently and carefully observes the sights and sounds of her remote, wooded surroundings. High up in a tree stand, she remains qu
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A stunningly gorgeous picture book about the changing seasons, this is a perfect way to welcome winter even when you don’t want it to arrive. The book begins on a cold day in September with a girl out in nature watching the animals. She has along her drawing pad and climbs into a tree house to see even better. From that platform, she sees a red fox stealing the last wrinkled fall apple from a low branch. A mother bear and her cub are also in the woods searching for food. As fall progresses, she ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
A little girl sits in her tree fort each day watching as the animals prepare for winter, then they disappear to hibernate through the coldest months. The animals represented in the book are all animals one could find in Canada. This is a lovely living book that could be used to teach children about the change of the seasons, some animals that can be found in Canada and beautiful images.

The gorgeous art work brings the text to life.

One of the themes of the book is respect for nature. “Once the
Daniel Middleton
Oct 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Throughout autumn, a dark-haired girl perches herself high in a twisted old tree time and again to survey the woods from her vantage point. Notebook and pencil in hand, she carefully observes the animals that happen across her path and notes, in lyrical, prose-like form, their actions as they prepare for the coming winter by foraging for whatever food they can find. We meet a red fox as it slips through a clearing; a bear and its cub as they rustle through the leaves below; and a family of skunk ...more
Jan 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is gorgeous.

I would put it in the rare, "literary fiction for picture books" genre. It is so well written, and utilizes a lot of literary writing techniques usually reserved for other forms of literature. When read out loud, the story seems to be impregnated with the silence of winter. It was such a joy to read.

“We can learn from animals, my father says. About patience. About truth. About quiet.” These lines come toward the end of this beautiful story, from a young girl who perches, I imagine often, on a tree platform, with sketchbook and binoculars. We start in September with her watching, telling about seeing a fox, and it is “quiet, quiet” words we read about watching the fox more than once. Through the days as they become colder, through the months to late November, ‘winter is coming’, and we lear ...more
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Author Johnson and illustrator LaMarche capture a young girl's peaceful and contemplative visit to the woods where, high up in a tree, she watches and sketches forest animals during the autumn months. Brilliant orange, yellow and red colors fill the pages and show the beauty of the fall season. The girl observes many animals preparing for winter, including a red fox, mother bear and cub, skunks, woodpeckers, rabbits, a lynx, chipmunks, deer, Canada geese, and wild turkeys. In a creative touch, t ...more
Lynn Plourde
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebook
4 1/2 stars for this quiet, beautiful book about what we as humans can learn from animals. The book opens with an empty sketch page. The girl in the book observes animals getting ready for winter and sketches them--her sketchbook is shown at the end. What a great way to invite young artists to sketch nature. I loved the rich imagery . . . "a lynx ghosts along" . . . "the deer nibble the needles of spruce." A "winter is coming" refrain repeats throughout. And JIm LaMarche is one of my favorite na ...more
Gail Gauthier
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Winter Is Coming deals with a child observing a forest and the creatures in it late in autumn, when "winter is coming." The writing is elegant, but maybe a little too much so in places. I don't know what the line "A lynx with Egypt eyes" describes. The same with "My mother says wild things are full of lights." But overall the text works well with the illustrations, which feature the animals the child narrator is watching."

Excerpt from Original Content.
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Winter is Coming" is a charming book about a girl viewing the change of the seasons and drawing what she sees in her sketchbook. The illustrations are beautiful; however, I think they would have made more of an impact if we were able to see the girl's illustrations compared to what she sees in the world around her. Otherwise, you don't even realize the girl is drawing until halfway through the book!

Otherwise, this is a beautiful book. I would recommend it to children who are more artistically-i
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is probably my favorite children's book of 2014, and as a children's librarian I read a lot of them. The illustrations are absolutely lovely, and I love the quietness of this book. It encourages the reader to slow down and observe the world around him or her. The child in the book is obviously comfortable being still and quiet to observe the animals in her world. I love the notebook and other materials she has with her too. I think it will inspire children to go outside and sit quietly to s ...more
Kay Carman
Jan 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My husband, the skeptic, couldn't totally buy into this story because of the unlikelihood of fawns in the fall, but agreed with me that the illustrations are exquisite. I've loved LaMarche's work since seeing A Story for Bear, and the illustrations here are just as lovely, if not more so, than Bear (although I loved that storyline).

A little girl spends time in the woods near her home observing the animals getting ready for winter.
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In eight days on September 23, 2014 the autumnal equinox will arrive. It signals a significant shift in weather forecasts, animal patterns and habitat transformations paving the way for the coldest season of the year. Winter Is Coming (A Paula Wiseman Book, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) written by Tony Johnston with illustrations by Jim LaMarche is a remarkable ode to this resplendent interval.

My full recommendation:
Sep 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Jim LaMarche creates the loveliest natural scenes (The Raft, for example). Combined with Johnston's free verse, these illustrations will make you want to take to the woods to watch as the season passes. The fall scenes glow with color and animals are naturalistically shown preparing for winter. Recommended, especially to anyone looking for a realistic and thoughtful natural story.
Jillian Heise
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
A beautifully illustrated book follows the autumn experiences of a girl who sits in her treehouse and observes nature around her getting ready for the coming winter while sketching the animals. Each page reads like its own poem and put together make a cohesive process of events story of what happens to all the animals as winter rounds the corner. The illustrations are stunning and evoke the season and a sense of quiet.
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Tony Johnston has written many acclaimed books for young people. She and her husband lived in Mexico for fifteen years, where they raised their children. She now lives in San Marino, California.