I have only one New Year’s Resolution for 2011—but it’s a doozy. I’m resolved to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of my loved ones. In other words, I aim to sleep more, eat better, carve out more me-time, and squeeze in some exercise. That last to-do is going to be especially tough for me—come winter, I go into hibernation mode; I’d much prefer to stay in and be cozy than to run around in the cold. Thank goodness, little kids have the opposite reaction. They go stir crazy being cooped up in the house too long. When they see snow, they don’t worry about how they’re going to get to work or dread the shoveling and the evitable slush and ice. They see magic and fun; they see snowmen and sledding, snow angels and snow forts.


On that note and for inspiration, here’s a cute book that will get everyone in the mood for some cold-weather fun. Published in October, Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman, illustrated by Liza Woodruff, gives the familiar Ten in the Bed counting song a wintry thrill-seeking twist. Here, the action involves 10 Arctic animals who pile on to a sled on a “sunlit night, ‘neath a snowy moon.” They’re led by a caribou, who enthusiastically directs the action: ‘“Slip over! Slide over!” “It’s snowing! Get going!” It’s slicker! Go quicker!”’  But one by one, the animals tumble off the sled until only the caribou is left. He cries, ‘“I’m only, I’m lonely, I’m chilled to the bone. A reindeer likes flying, but never alone!”’ So what do the animals do next? Get back on the sled and slide down again, of course!


The lively rhyming text makes this a fun book to read out loud and Woodruff’s illustrations are a visual treat. Every page contains little details to delight the eye (readers will spot right away the ever-increasing snowball made out of the Arctic critters who fall off the sled) and the expressions on the animals add to the charm (my favorite is the tiny squirrel wearing the skull-and-crossbones cap). After seeing this book, my children were chomping at the bit to romp in the snow. Even I didn’t mind going outside and breaking a sweat. Wheee! Happy New Year, everyone!


Are you familiar with this picture book? Can you suggest others that celebrate winter outdoor fun?

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