Monday, February 1, 2016

The Tough Winter by Robert Lawson

(Ironically, it was 50 degrees yesterday. Crazy talk for Northern New York in January. I keep waiting for real winter to start, but I am coming to terms with the fact that it might never come. We might just have a mild winter. Our not so tough winter.)

This is a sweet little book. Robert Lawson has created a busy, charming little world near a farmhouse and wood in Connecticut. The animals each have distinct personalities. The main character, little rabbit Georgie, has a pontificating father, a busy little mother who has "splendid fit[s] of worrying" and a pessimistic Uncle Analdas. Then there are all the other animals in the wood--the fieldmice, the ground hogs, the deer, the squirrels, and a fox.  

After feeling it in his bones, Uncle Analdas declares "I hold it's goin' to be a tough winter, and needn't nobody bother to deny it." 

So no one does. Georgie can't get terribly worried about the coming winter. After all, isn't there a feast spread on the stones by the house every night? If it is a hard winter, the kindly human will just add a little to the feast. Uncle Analdas is known to be a gloom. 

All the other animals, including Georgie's parents, do worry though. They get extra busy stockpiling and preparing, ruining Georgie's fun during the last few warm days of the year by making him haul clover, filling their storeroom to bursting.

The first snow at Thanksgiving

The icy crust on the first snow

Without rhyme or reason, the kindly folks in the farmhouse leave and are replaced by a horrible caretaking couple with a mean dog.

I love Robert Lawson's pictures. Very detailed and concise. 

The animals are even shot at by the nasty caretaker. Georgie and his pal, Willie Fieldmouse check out the shells.

The animals checking to see how everyone is faring.

The Christmas star

The winter is long, snowy, and bitterly cold. Only by helping each other and hoping for the best do they avoid starvation.

At long last, spring comes amid general rejoicing. 

This is a quiet little book. I read a few chapters to the kids every night before bed last winter. Very soothing and absorbing. 

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