Willow and the Snow Day Dance



“This title covers so many things that teachers can employ in a classroom setting that the list could read like a basic curriculum: sequences in nature, weather, seasonal activities, recycling, predicting outcomes, having faith in people is important, generosity makes everyone feel good, writing letters can change attitudes and actions, observing others can provide inspiration, being a role model is essential (and can be contagious) and so forth. . .all of this wrapped in appealing illustrations.”

Sheilah Egan, Children’s Literature


Willow has just moved to her new home, and she wastes no time getting busy. Soon Willow and her mother are planting a garden, but then they discover that they don’t have enough plants to fill their garden space. Willow decides to write to her neighbors. She asks them if they can help her fill her garden by donating a plant or two. By summertime, Willow’s garden is flourishing, and she delivers flowers to all her neighbors, including Mr. Larch, who lives next door. Mr. Larch is old, crabby, unneighborly, and anti-social, but Willow doesn’t know this. She takes him flowers anyway, and she asks him and all the other neighbors if they have any “scraps” to donate for her garden art projects. Soon her garden is full of old junk that Willow turns into interesting works of art. In the fall, Willow shares the vegetables from her garden with all the neighbors, including Mr. Larch, and she asks everyone to donate to the annual hat and mitten drive at her school. Can it be that Mr. Larch’s cold heart is starting to thaw, warmed by Willow’s friendship? This delightful book brings back the character who charmed readers in Willow. Once again, the little girl with the wild hair shows readers how a little creativity and a big heart can make the world a much happier place.

Marya Jansen-Gruber

Editor, Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Review


I loved the first book this author/illustrator team created featuring Willow and this one is just as cute. Willow has moved to a new neighborhood and all throughout the year has enlisted the help of her new neighbors to do good deeds. She grows a community vegetable garden, collecting seeds from all the neighbors, and she collects winter clothing for the needy, asking for donations.When Willow actually wants something for herself (a snow day of course), she again enlists the help of her neighbors in making that a possibility, with some silly and sweet results. Beautiful illustrations too!A nice story to share with your kids. It just may inspire them to want to help others…always a positive reaction!

Amanda Snow



The air has turned chilly, and after last year’s winter season left those of us in the mid-Atlantic area under more snow than many previous years combined, snow is on a lot of folks’ minds, including my children. They’ve already demanded to know when the snow will arrive, for their memories of sledding and snowman building remain very, very clear. While we can’t control the weather, we can certainly build up our collection of books and pile on the snow in literary form. Denise Brennan-Nelson’s new picture book release, Willow and the Snow Day Dance has happily been added to the shelf.I can only begin to describe Willow as delightful and charming, definitely the kind of child I’d want my own kids to befriend. Her positive attitude and can-do spirit livens up her new neighborhood as she involves her community in gardening and charity collection projects. Her example inspires others to get involved, even someone who doesn’t have a history of being terribly friendly or community-oriented. That action brings about the mysterious sharing of “The Snow Day Dance,” and who knows? Maybe there’s some magic to this silly dance after all.I’m willing to bet this book will be loved by many schoolchildren (and teachers!) this winter, with lots of backward-pajama-wearing readers wishing and hoping. If you’re looking for a fun wintry book, Willow and the Snow Day Dance is a definite hit, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lovely heart of the story in the form of the title character.

Dawn, 5minutesforbooks.com