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Winterfrost Paperback – October 18, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–7—It's Christmas Eve on a farm in Denmark and the Larsens are suddenly called away to attend to their grandmother, who has broken her hip, leaving 12-year-old Bettina to care for her baby sister Pia alone. Or at least she thinks she is alone. When they forget to put out the traditional rice pudding for the gnome-like nisse, Klakke the barn nisse takes revenge. This sets in motion a series of events that put Bettina in a very difficult situation. Based on real Danish customs, Houts's contemporary folktale has all the right ingredients—heroine, villain, magic, conflict, and resolution through kindness and courage. Narrator Amy McFadden brings to life Bettina and the imaginary world of the tiny nisse with a wide range of distinguishing voices. The listener is swept along by the suspenseful plot, witty dialogue, and vivid descriptions of woodland scenery. This audiobook is well suited for children, but adults who enjoy stories about wee folk, such as The Borrowers or The Spiderwick Chronicles, will also find much to enjoy here. VERDICT This gem of a book is ideal for a classroom study in Christmas traditions.—Alice Davidson, Indianapolis, IN --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Narrated in a comfortingly authoritative voice that is reminiscent of storytelling around a winter’s hearth, this folkloric tale is rich with depth and tradition and full of a child’s wonder of the natural world. ... A timeless story that upholds and nurtures the magical worlds of nature and childhood.
Children with a fascination for all things cute and tiny will delight in the cozy details of nisse household life, with its acorn cups and thistledown stockings. At the same time, they will appreciate Bettina’s struggle to cope with very adult responsibilities. A gentle holiday adventure with a quiet message of courage and responsibility.
—School Library Journal
A sweet but suspenseful story... The plot comes together as Bettina bravely searches for her sister in the sparkling wilderness, which seems to be under some sort of winter spell.
Readers will enjoy this benevolent Christmastime adventure inspired by Danish folklore.
Simple and sweet, this contempo- rary fairy tale uses straightforward prose and measured pacing to tell a story both slightly otherworldly and utterly accessible. Bettina is calm, rational, and brave, an admirable ... heroine, and Houts paints the nisse with humor and whimsy. Charming and guileless, this story of adventure and enchantment would work well for a young fairy-tale aficionado or as a classroom readaloud in those restless days just before winter break.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Houts’s descriptions of the glistening weather phenomenon of winterfrost heighten the air of wonder in the story. The mix of fantasy, legend, and holiday tradition makes for a heady, escapist read.
Written in the folkloric language and style of old tales, young readers will enjoy the tiny lives of the nisse and appreciate the spunk and courage displayed by Bettina as she solves the problem of the troublesome Klaaka.
—Reading Today Online
This magical adventure leads you into a winter-frost world of Danish folklore and family love.
—The Buffalo News
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Top customer reviews
Remember how delightfully courageous was Ann who lived at Green Gables and the Ingall girls who lived in a little house at Walnut Grove? Remember those precious and lovable animals who lived in Zucker's barn in E.B. White's "Charlottes Webb"? Do you ever longingly recall the delightfully mischievous wee folks called the Borrowers? Ever wish you could celebrate such magic as all of this in just one book? WINTER FROST by Michelle Houts has it all, and more.