written by Jill Esbaum
(National Geographic Society) 2010
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Winter narrates this resplendent photo essay which highlights the joys of the season. Whether it is catching snowflakes on your tongue or flying down a snowy hill on a saucer, Winter encourages us to embrace the cold and relish the fun only this time of year can bring. He asks the reader "Ever skimmed outdoor ice on silver blades? Click-clack-click. Can't do that in the summertime!" Jack Frost also reminds us that some of our favorite holidays are in his domain. At the end of the essay, Winter asks "Will I be gentle or stormy, playful or sneaky?" In North Carolina, we use woolly worms to predict this.
The photos in Winter Wonderland are a gorgeous showcase for the coldest season. Jill Esbaum's approach to the text is a clever one filled with descriptive adjectives that would serve as a nice mentor text for how to liven up your writing. This book could also be used to teach students how to draw an inference. Take this piece of text, "I am Winter, keeper of your favorite holidays." and ask students to infer exactly what the author means. Winter Wonderland would be a welcome addition to your collection of books on the seasons.