The Year Winter Came Late
by Michael Larzelere and Susan M. Ward
URLink Print and Media

"Lisa said, 'I will play, but remember if I win, you have to give winter back to Snowtown.'"

In the land of Snowtown, each of the citizens celebrates and enjoys the fullness of every season of the year, but as the name suggests, they love winter most of all. One year, winter is late to arrive, and the people of Snowtown panic, thinking that their winter will never come. When the Mayor offers a reward, a little girl named Lisa comes forward and reveals that she saw a bitter, mean snowman named Mr. Sneezy Snew bag up the winter weather and take it away to his home. Setting off to recover the wintertime, Lisa befriends a series of animals on her journey before coming face to face with Mr. Sneezy Snew himself. In order to save the season for Snowtown, Lisa will have to outsmart the wily snowman and trick him into giving back the winter.

Every page of this story is complete with crisp and bold colored pencil illustrations that follow Lisa on her journey to give back the joy to her neighbors in Snowtown. The story itself is one of bravery and cooperation, as Lisa’s friends lend a hand to her when she has to play an unfamiliar game. In turn, Sneezy Snew is not punished for his greed but given a chance for redemption if he only returns what doesn’t belong to him. The concept of the story is whimsical and sure to draw smiles from its readers with its unique premise and sincere characters. If there is one reader presenting the book to an audience, they can also add a level of interactive storytelling by presenting the riddles that Lisa and her friends must solve to see if their friends, family, or classmates are clever enough to work them out. Sweet and straight to the point, this story entertains a genuine sense of wonder.

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