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Grandmother Winter

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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  32 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kathryn
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Julia
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was infatuated with the title and cover illustration of the book for I am fairytale fan while this book remind me of the one of the woman at the bottom of the well. With this thought in mind I chose to dive into the book and get to learn what was really behind the cover.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't a fairytale variation although still holding the old woman and her flock of geese as is implied by that same telling. Instead from there the story gives a quick chronological t
...more
Inhabiting Books
Jan 16, 2012 added it
Shelves: 2012
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.
Jean Doolittle
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lyrical story with beautiful illustrations!
Jennifer Heise
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beekman, seasons, pagan
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
Makenzie Sliva
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lobstergirl
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-books
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.

Gabby Gilliam
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grabbed this book from the library because I was instantly drawn to the illustration on the cover. Much to my delight, the entire book is just as beautiful. Root's story is a wonderful retelling of a folktale about how winter comes each year. Grandmother Winter makes a quilt from fallen goose feathers. When she shakes the quilt, the feathers turn to snow, covering the world in a layer of white. Root's prose is as lovely as the illustrations by Beth Krommes. I plan to read this at least a few m ...more
Dolly
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2011
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.
Ami
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, winter
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.
Karen
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Geoff
Dec 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holiday-winter
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.
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.
Matthew
May 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-devices
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.
Shelli
Oct 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Interesting take on how Grandma Winter brings the new season.
Sarah
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
LOVE the woodcuts.
Ann
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
Christine
A beautifully illustrated folk tale about the coming of winter. Beth Krommes is fast becoming a favorite!
Maren Prestegaard
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
Love this book and the idea that snow comes from grandmother's feather quilt.
Deb
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considered for story time, a little too advanced for the age group. Love the illustrations though!
Po
Jan 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, winter, 2010, animals
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.
Jessica
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Magical explanation for winter and snow
Michelle
Feb 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
A beautiful and mystical look at winter.
Holly
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Magical illustrations, leads to fun discussion about winter.
Marmot
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice book about winter, I really enjoyed the illustrations. Fairly short and simple, good for the 4 to 6 year old crowd.
LemontreeLime
Very nice.
Ada
Dec 24, 2016 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
Nice tale of Grandmother winter and her geese
Samantha Penrose
Although the story was nothing amazing, the illustrations are fantastic, and I would recommend it for that reason.
Janet
Apr 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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,
Kari
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
I really love this story about winter. I can just imagine the goose feathers being collected through the year. ;)
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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
More about Phyllis Root...

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