32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
When winter snow turns the green grass of the hills to white, Ed revels in his favourite season. Because that’s when he can get his sleek sled out of the shed and race the other children down the slope. But instead of the fast sled of yesteryear his now seems old and dull and slow as new, shiny, purple, orange , yellow and red ones flash past.
Discouraged and disappointed at no longer being the best, Ed takes his sled back to the shed where he spends days and days trying to perfect it. The voice in his head tells him that it is fine but he ignores it and keeps on tinkering. But something strange has happened while he has been tucked away all that time. There is blue peeping out of the snow and the blackbird is singing… and with a heavy spring shower the white is turned to green!
Even though few Australian children will spend their winters sliding down the slopes, this is a timely story that introduces young readers to the emotion of envy, exploring how we can be so consumed by being bigger, better, and faster that we miss out on more important things like fun and friendship. Rather than valuing what now, we get carried away with the anticipation of what next. It is another in a series in which little people can confront big emotions through story and learn about and from them.
Told in rhyming text, as well as being a story about emotions, there is also an element of science that can be explored as Ed draws elaborate plans for his new sled to make it magnificent. But what does he sacrifice in exchange for the fancy-dancy add-ons? What are the essential elements a sled needs to glide swiftly over the snow? And for those in warmer climes than mine, what is snow and why doesn’t it fall everywhere? Why doesn’t it fall all the time? Why do the seasons change?
I adore books that become springboards for young readers to explore well beyond the pages, that help them make more sense of the world around them and broaden their horizons. This is one of those.