by John Rocco,
@ SPL: JP Rocco
When the first flakes began to fall, the class was very excited. More snow followed, and outdoor recess was lots of fun.
The snow continued, growing heavier, and the wind whipped up. School closed early. The children walked home slowly, the snow already over their boots.
The storm didn’t let up that night, and the next morning, the drifts were very high. Soon, the snow was too deep for walking, tobogganing, or driving. It was a blizzard!
As the days passed and the snow continued to fall, food and other supplies began to dwindle. People began to feel cabin-crazy. Still, the snowplows did not arrive.
On the fifth day, a young boy decided to use an idea from his Arctic Survival book. Using tennis rackets as snowshoes, he discovered that he was light enough to walk on top of the snow. Tugging his sled, he made the long trek to the local store, taking requests from his neighbours on his way.
Then the boy made the purchases and delivered them to his grateful neighbours and family.
At the end of the next day, the snow finally stopped falling. The plows arrived. The blizzard was over – at last - and everyone in the neighbourhood was safe.
This tale is based on a true incident from the author’s childhood, the massive 1978 New England Blizzard in which entire communities were cut off from civilization for days. (Unfortunately, there were over 50 deaths as a result of the real blizzard.)
John Rocco’s wonderful story of a young boy’s resourcefulness and courage, illustrated in watercolour and pencil by the author, gives the reader the sense that they are actually in the story. As such, the book would be especially enjoyed under a warm blanket!
** Recommended for ages four to eight.
– Sally Hengeveld, librarian