Book Review: Winter’s Blanket by Phil Cummings

Winter has arrived in Australia. Although winter is fairly mild in Australia, I still struggle to warm up- no matter how many layers I wear. So as I start to dread the next three months, I thought I’d pull this book from our bookcase to remind me that spring will come….eventually.

How do you feel about winter?

The use of seasons has actually been used as an allegory by Phil Cummings in this book. The book uses winter as a metaphor for a time of concern, worry, anxiety or sadness; while spring represents the hope that this difficult time will pass. It really is a gentle and comforting book to share with children about a difficult topic.

Such a thoughtful book it is because the metaphor is so subtle that Winter’s Blanket can be read, without worry or concern, to younger children too- enabling you to simply read and talk about the change of seasons.

Lily, a young cub, walks with her mother and begins to twirl alongside a fluttering autumn leaf. Her mother tells her that it’s a sign that winter is creeping in.

At this point in the story, Lily becomes my 2.5 year old daughter, confused about what that means. She begins to ask her mother a barrage of questions, ‘Is it hiding?’, ‘Does it sneak and creep about like a ghost?’, ‘Does it..swoop down upon us?’

As Lily begins to understand a bit more about winter, she also begins to worry that she won’t be able to stay warm. Her mother assures her that she’ll be okay because spring won’t be far away.

‘No matter how long winter lingers, spring will always come.’

Alongside the story are rich and textured illustrations by Donna Gynell that encompass winter so perfectly.

Book Details:

Author: Phil Cummings

Illustrator: Donna Gynell

ISBN: 978-1921136757

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Windy Hollow Books, 2011

RRP: $ 24.95

Suitable for ages 4+ (★★★★★)

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