My buses have been all but empty this past week. Nicollet Mall usually bustles with activity, but this week, the only people downtown are the ones huddled in bus shelters peeking out with hopeful looks or walking quickly with only their eyes showing against the fierce wind. In a cold snap, the city gets quiet and lonely.
On my way to work, winter is harsh winds, icy sidewalks, and heavy snow. But at my desk surrounded by children’s books, winter is quite different. The snow is delicate and perfect for play. The ice and wind are no match for us in a children’s book. If only I could live in Toby Mills, the town in Eileen Spinelli’s Cold Snap. Their winter is awfully cold, but it is warm with nostalgia and community. This is a town that knows, the only way to get through a cold winter is to come together.
For all of you braving the cold Minnesota days for the rest of the winter, when it feels like too much, read a picture book. Try Cold Snap. Or if that doesn’t boost your spirits, try A Perfect Day by Carin Beger for a wonder-filled exploration of a snowy winter day. It will help you to remember that winter is more than hopeful looks and speed-walking to warmth.
I can’t change the sub-zero temperatures we’ve had recently, but I can change how I see them. It’s still cold out there, but I’m smiling anyway.
There is more snowy picture book art at 7 Imp, and I talk more about the above books at Books in Bloom. A few photos here on my photo blog, or check out some really beautiful shots of a Minnesota winter from Minnesota Public Radio.
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