As it begins to warm up in the Northern Hemisphere, down south the days are getting shorter and there is a distinct chill in the air. So, what better way to celebrate (or, if you’re like me, sympathise with the main character of this story!) the approaching colder months than with this absolutely charming picture book by Icelandic author and illustrator Lani Yamamoto.
Originally published Stína Stórasæng (Stina with the big duvet) our girl doesn’t like being cold.
“In summer, Stina easily avoided swimming pools and cool evening breezes, but the only place she truly felt safe from a possible chill was at home, in bed, under her big, white, goose-down duvet”.
When winter comes, Stina simply stops going outside.
“So one morning, late last autumn, when Stina first saw her breath, she calmly took a step back inside and shut the door”.
Stina invents many ways of avoiding the cold, including an ingenious pair of hot water bottle shoes aka ‘cozy toes’ and a rope and pulley tea making system so she doesn’t have to leave her bed. Stina spends her time finger knitting, baking and playing hide and seek with the moon, all from under her doona. But as winter drags on, Stina begins to notice the children playing in the snow outside her window. She can’t understand how the wind isn’t blowing right through their sweaters. Or, what a snowflake tastes like …
One day, during a particularly bad storm, two children stumble inside Stina’s house. But they aren’t cold — they’re warm from playing outside! Stina and her new friends spend the day together and Stina realises that sometimes there are better things than doonas to warm the heart.
With its cloth cover, delicate line illustrations and simple yet meaningful story, this is the perfect book to read when rugged up someplace cosy. Plus, nestled in the back pages there are Stína’s instructions for knitting without needles and her recipe for hot chocolate … maybe winter isn’t so bad after all.
- Author/Illustrator: Lani Yamamoto
- ISBN: 9781851778584
- Publisher: V&A Publishing
- Age range: 4-8 years