A poetic personification of the winter season, Mother Winter goes walking "on the longest cold night," inviting the reader along to experience chill winds, icy ponds, white snowdrifts, and other quiet wonders.
"If you are awake, / on the longest cold night, / when the wind curls and frost holds time, / you'll hear her bells and smell the first snow, / when Mother Winter goes walking." This lyrical, luminous winter solstice book exhorts readers to go outside and experience the season's natural wonders. The title character appears in the glowing, moonlit illustrations as a benevolent, larger-than-life figure whose blue cape traisl behind while (in the text's refrain) she "goes walking" through a town. Swirls of light and color in spectacular cool-toned art whose effect is near breathtaking.
–Elissa Gershowitz, The Horn Book, 10/04/2022
On the longest, coldest night of the year, Mother Winter goes walking. Though she is not always visible, her presence is nevertheless felt in the brisk chill of the wind and the ice lining the trees. Most people are sleeping as Mother Winter makes her way through the land, bringing snow and frost to her surroundings. For those who are awake, Mother Winter welcomes travelers—especially children—to join her under the blanket of darkness. This intensely artistic picture book stands apart from others in its genre both because of the rich poetry found in the text and because of the deep, nighttime hues of the illustrations. Though its sixteen-page length is only half as long as most picture books, this book is nonetheless robust in its messaging and appeal. From the first page, readers are immersed in a nighttime world that is filled with both wonder and whimsy. Poetic text invites readers to imagine Winter as a roaming, personified character who brings comfort and beauty to the coldest of nights. Additionally, short lines and repetition of key phrases make the story ideal for younger readers even if they are not yet able to absorb the full intent of the narrative. Alongside the text are complex, unique illustrations that maximize the contrast between nighttime darkness and the glow that comes from snow, stars, and lights within that setting. This design invites readers to look ever deeper at the complexity and detail of the visuals with each subsequent reading. Happily, the pages are thick and substantial, which permits the dark ink to saturate the images without adversely affecting the quality of the paper. This is a unique and beautiful addition to library collections for young readers, especially those collections that incorporate modern folk tales.
–Children's Literature, 11/19/2022
A poetic picture book that personifies the winter season by inviting readers to join Mother Winter on her walk. “If you are awake/ on the longest cold night, when the wind curls and frost holds time,/ you’ll hear her bells and smell the first snow,/ when Mother Winter goes walking.” This beautifully descriptive text brings all parts of a winter landscape to life, from frosty fields and frozen ponds, to animals and children at play, to the winter stars rising as “loving eyes above it all.” Magical illustrations bring the story to life, and young audiences will enjoy the repetition of lines, and the cyclical nature of the journey, as they ride on Mother Winter’s “long coattails.”