Winter’s Child by Angela McAllister and Grahame Baker-Smith

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A haunting Christmas book from Templar by Angela McAllister and Kate Greenaway medal winner Grahame Baker-Smith, Winter’s Child is beautiful. From the moment you look at the cover you know you have something special. The paper has a metallic sheen and catches the light beautifully and Baker-Smith’s illustrations are magical. His fusion of drawing, painting and digital techniques creates a unique style that makes the real seem imagined. He makes magic. This book takes the magic dreamlike qualities of winter and brings them to life, transforming them into intricate glittering illustrations. With so much detail to soak up on every page this is a book to savour slowly, preferably with some page stroking and a large glass of mulled wine.

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Tom loves winter and wishes it could last forever. Everyday he races out to play in the snow and skate on the ice. But his mother is worried about Nana. It is too cold for her and winter has lasted too long. One day Tom meets a pale boy with ice-blue eyes and they play together in the snow, making snow and ice sculptures. Tom tells the strange boy that he doesn’t want winter to end and everyday the boy appears again to race with Tom through the snow and ride on the back of reindeer. But each day there is less food and wood for the family to use, and soon enough there is nothing left. Tom realises that his Nana, and the whole family, need spring to arrive in order to survive. He explains why he no longer wants to play to his wintery friend who disappears into the snow saying, ‘Spring can not wake until Winter and his child are asleep.’

A delicious play on the Jack Frost story that has the warm feel of a remembered traditional folk tale with a contemporary look. This book is going to be a firm favourite for years to come.

Source: kindly sent for review by those clever folk at Templar.

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