Kazuno Kohara
(Macmillan Children’s Books)

Here is a picture book which is perfect for this lovely crisp cold weather we are having at the moment!

The book opens with a little boy sitting in an armchair at home looking very sad. He hates winter he says because all his friends are hibernating. But one particularly cold morning, he spots some strange patterns on the window. As the boy goes outside to discover what is causing it, he runs into the culprit, Jack Frost, who is covering everywhere with frost and ice. Finally, the boy has found a new playmate! But this is on the condition that he must never, ever mention anything warm in front of Jack Frost, because that would break the spell and jack would have to leave …

What can I say? Kazuno Kohara’s illustrations are splendid in their simplicity. Her lino-cut style illustrations and limited palette of colours (most of the illustrations are two-toned; in this case ice blue and white mainly) are in tune with the witty yet simple text. The pictures are so atmospheric, you can nearly feel the chill in the air. It really is a marvel that such simple illustrations can create such a powerful sense of time and place.
Despite the inevitable disappearance of Jack Frost and therefore the loss of a friend, there is hope at the end of the story. Hope that spring is on its way but also hope that eventually winter, and Jack, will return.
The big bold illustrations and the short text would have you believe that this is a book for preschoolers but don’t be fooled, this little beauty can be enjoyed by all! I am a big fan!

Thank you to Kate at Macmillan for sending me a copy.