For veterans of winter weather, sometimes it's more fun to read about snow than shovel or drive through it. But the endearing bunny on the cover of Bernette Ford's new book, First Snow, illustrated by Sebastien Braun, is a reminder that nothing is so magical to children as that first snowfall of the year. Bunny and his siblings are fast asleep in the warm lair one night when Bunny pokes up his small nose and sniffs the cold night air. It's the first snow! The small rabbits venture out to the meadow, where hungry chipmunks scurry to gather pine cones, and children make a fat, white snowman. The bunnies race across the meadow, leaving paw prints as they go. Hopping, stumbling, rolling, tumbling, playing in the cold first snow. And though the children may head back home for hot cocoa in front of the fire, they leave a present behind for the bunnies to enjoy. A spare, lyrical text and child-friendly illustrations make this a perfect bedtime story for a winter night.

Deborah Hopkinson's new picture book, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, will be published in February 2006.

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