Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Little Crooked Bookshelf

Once Upon A Northern Night
by Jane E. Pendziwol 

illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

What it's all about . . .

A parent paints a peaceful picture of the forest on a northern winter night for a sleeping child.

Why it's on The Little Crooked Bookshelf . . .

Pendziwol’s language is exquisite, and Arsenault’s gouache, ink, pencil and watercolor paintings of a nighttime winter landscape are spare, yet magical.

Our favorite lines . . .
Once upon a northern night
I sent the frost
to dance on your window
and make a frame.

It twirled and twisted,
curled and coiled,
spiraled and spun,
climbing around the edges of the glass
but leaving the middle
as smooth and clear as the frozen pond.

Our favorite illustration . . . 

  Illustration Copyright © 2013 Isabelle Arsenault. Courtesy of Groundwood Books.

Why kids will love it . . .

Though the sleeping child appears only at the very beginning and end, the book evokes a powerful sense of home and belonging; safety and warmth. Children will enjoy snuggling up in their own beds to listen to the gentle text and watch the nighttime winter forest unfold.

Why parents will love it. . .
It’s a gentle lullaby, with stunning art, and the perfect bedtime read to send little ones off to sleep on a snowy winter’s night.


  1. We thought so, too, Cathy! The whole book is just lovely. Thanks for your comment!