It’s January – cold; the days are short, in many places it’s the one time each year we can see our own breath. I kind of love that about winter.
Maybe, though, I love January because it’s just screams for a cosy read by a flickering fire, a mug of something hot nearby, its own steam rising. Yeah, that’s one of the best things about January, that staple month of winter.
I’m thrilled that each month now, I’ll be sharing three books for Mumtastic that mean something to me, that are snuggle-by-the-fire or curl up under a summer tree worthy. Each month, I’m hoping to have a different theme and I’ll include one book for children, one book for middle/young adult readers, and one book for adults. Cool thing is, though – to me, that’s really three books for adults, because I’m a big fan of reading books for children. Even if you don’t have one. Mostly because they remind us why we started reading in the first place.
This month, I have three winter books, so curl up by that fire, grab your mug, and read…
Children’s: The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
My daughter is enchanted with Jan Brett’s books, has been for years. Brett’s paintings are luminous and the stories each so beautifully told. In The Three Snow Bears, Brett retells the Goldilocks story set to an Inuit Artic backdrop. The three bears are magnificent ice-bound polar bears and our little Goldilocks is fringed in fur.
Young Adult: The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
This young adult novel won the Prinz award for YA fiction and is the breathtaking story of a young girl, Sym, and her fascination and journey to Antarctica. I’m not usually one who is drawn to adventure novels but Sym’s story and the originality of this work – an imaginary friend who is a dead explorer! – just worked for me. Sym is a fabulous character and the writing is top notch, fresh and interesting.
Literary Fiction: please don’t come back from the moon by Dean Bakopoulos
Okay, so this isn’t actually a winter book per se (though there is a scene where two of the characters study a snowfall as it coats a mall parking lot that is absolutely enchanting) but it has the feel of winter, and what’s literary fiction if we can’t be a little metaphorical about it? PDCBFTM is one of my favourite novels of the past few years (so much so I talk about it all over and I’m sure if the author has Google Alerts, he must feel like I’m bordering on obsessive) but it’s just so good. It’s a simple blue collar story framed in a lovely device of what happens in a small Detroit suburb when all the grown men simple “go to the moon” and what that absence engenders, specifically for the boys. That’s the story, and Bakopoulos, a sublime writer, crafts this tale with a lonely, lyrical voice that made me feel like reading this novel was like listening to one of the best Bruce Springsteen songs. And I love Bruce Springsteen. Especially in winter.