A small gem of a book that celebrates winter, friendship, and being in the moment. In James Howe's beginning reader, two chums—a dog and a cat—are practicing at Houndsley's house for an upcoming concert when a snowstorm begins. Catina is antsy.
"Oh," said Houndsley. "But that is why this is my favorite time of year. In the quiet time, everything stops. I think we may be snowed in."
Houndsley's example helps Catina learn to enjoy the change of pace as they bake cookies, play music, and read. (Young readers will glean many ways to avoid cabin fever on a day when they're confined.) The animal pals generously include a third friend, Bert the goose, in their cozy good time. Marie-Louise Gay's watercolor/pencil/collage illustrations depict the action with gentle humor and a soul-warming palette of wintertime colors; even the endpapers are lovely.
Not too long at three chapters and 48 pages, Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time, the third in the Houndsley & Catina series, makes a good choice for first and second graders as well as the read-aloud crowd. All classroom libraries in the snowy states ought to have a copy! The book is a finalist in the Easy Reader category of the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils).