Joanna Marple, Author
Maja Sereda, Illustrator
uTales eBook, May 2012, Fiction
Suitable for: Ages 3 and up
Themes: Woodland Animals, Snow Games, Friendship, Teamwork
Opening/Synopsis: “On a crisp, frosty mid-winter’s day, the woodland youngsters ran out to play. The first game that popped into Squirrel’s head was to slide down the hill on a homemade sled. Bear charged forth and crashed down the slope on a sled from boughs tied together with rope.” The four endearing animals –Squirrel, Bear, Owl and Mouse — spend a snowy winter day playing games in the woods. They begin with sledding and each animal makes a sled from twigs, pine cones, a log and a red shoe. Bear suggests that they follow with a snow fight. They each build a snow fort and pack snowballs of all sizes. Once the game ends, Mouse, has the best game idea of all–to build snow animals. Bear, Squirrel and Owl all craft snow critters in their own likeness. But, small Mouse has a vision and creates the biggest snow creature of all. It is Fox, who will decide the winner of the winter snow games.
Why I like this story: Written in verse, Joanna Marple has created an endearing and delightful story about friendship, sportsmanship, and teamwork among the woodland youngsters. Joanna has traveled extensively and developed a passion for the animal world and their plight. She loves to write anthropomorphic stories with animals depicted in their natural environment. Bear is strong, Owl is wise and confident, Squirrel is quick and clever, and Mouse is small and compassionate. Maja Sereda’s digital illustrations are playful and beautifully express this action-packed story. She uses soft pastels to create the magical winter wonderland. The rhyme and illustrations are the perfect ingredients for a fun winter experience.
About uTales: Joanna says uTales is more than just a digital bookstore. “It is built around a community in ways other platforms are not. We want to be a family of creators. ” The Friendship Alphabet book is a good example of how 30 authors and illustrators from 15 different countries created a storybook together. Joanna contributed to this digital book as well. Books are published in English and Swedish. Click here to learn more about uTales children’s ebooks and to sign up for a free trial. uTales was initiated by Swedish businessman, Nils von Heijne. Emma Dryden, of drydenbks, oversees the Editorial Quality uTales Panel.
Joanna Marple grew up surrounded by the architecture and awe of the city of Cambridge, UK, and immersed in the books and the landscapes of the Brontes, Tolkien and Beatrix Potter. Her tall tales were not always appreciated as a young child, but her passion for storytelling remained unfettered and was fuelled by the marvelous people and animals she encountered during her humanitarian work across the continents. More recently her years as school librarian in Southern France relit her passion for children’s books. Her stories focus on her love of the natural world and the richness of the cultures she has encountered in her travels. She lives presently in Nice with two quirky cats and a stream of visitors from all over the globe.