winter reads

Stumbled across this article on Facebook, "Wintery Literature for a Snowy Day," which got me to thinking of some books/poems which have good/intense/interesting winter scenes. I came up with:
  • Snowy Day, Ezra Jack Keats 
    This was on the NPR list, but I had to put it on mine too because it was one of my ABSOLUTE favorites as a kid. I remember reading this (once I'd learned to read) over and over again. I loved the pictures. Thanks EJK!
  • Bear snores on, Karma WilsonWhen I used to do weekly storytime with the Pre-K kids, they all LOVED this book.
  • The Mitten, Jan BrettMy niece, Monster S loved Jan Brett books when she was a little younger. The pics are gorgeous, and each page helps set up the action that will take place on the next page.
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis  
    I still get a thrill each time I reread this and Lucy Pevensie walks into snowy Narnia.
  • My side of the mountain, Jean Craighead George 
    I loved this book when I was a kid; that Sam could learn how to care for himself in the wild and survive a winter--things I aspired to.
  • The Golden Compass, Philip PullmanOne of the coolest scenes in the book was with Iorek Byrnison and the Mulefa bears.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe  
    I will always remember how my heart pounded when I read about Eliza trying to escape across the frozen lake!
  • Ethan Frome, Edith WhartonWowza, that story packs a wintry punch.
  • And I also found this lovely stanza in
    T. Roethke's "The Far Field,""I dream of journeys repeatedly:
    Of flying like a bat deep into a narrowing tunnel
    Of driving alone, without luggage, out a long peninsula,
    The road lined with snow-laden second growth,
    A fine dry snow ticking the windshield,
    Alternate snow and sleet, no on-coming traffic,
    And no lights behind, in the blurred side-mirror,
    The road changing from glazed tarface to a rubble of stone,
    Ending at last in a hopeless sand-rut,
    Where the car stalls,
    Churning in a snowdrift
    Until the headlights darken..."
  • And last, but not least, this poem,
    "Winter Sleep," Mary Oliver
    If I could I would
    Go down to winter with the drowsy she-bear,
    Crawl with her under the hillside
    And lie with her, cradled.  Like two souls
    In a patchwork bed --
    Two old sisters familiar to each other
    As cups in a cupboard --
    We would burrow into the yellow leaves
    To shut out the sounds of the winter wind.

    Deep in that place,
    among the roots
    Of sumac, oak, and wintergreen,
    We would remember the freedoms of summer,
    And we would begin to breathe together --
    Hesitant as singers in the wings --
    A shy music,
    Oh, a very soft song.

    While pines cracked in the snow above,

    And seeds froze in the ground, and rivers carried
    a dark roof in their many blue arms,
    We would sleep and dream.
    We would wake and tell
    How we longed for spring.
    Smiles on our faces, limbs around each other,
    We would turn and turn
    Until we heard our lips in unison singing

    The family name.

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