Liza Woodruff

Author & Illustrator

When a child’s mother is too busy for stories, he follows some tracks in the snow and makes up his own.

Milo’s angry face as he stomps out the door speaks volumes about his disappointment. But it isn’t long before he spies a mouse’s tracks under the birdfeeder and begins a journey of discovery. At the winterberry bush, Milo observes that all the red berries are gone and finds a single feather; “What had happened here?” A page turn allows readers time to guess: A flock of cedar waxwings (identified on the endpapers along with tracks and a few animals that readers will have to look very closely to find) flies over the tiny mouse, a single red berry falling to the ground. This pattern repeats, with Milo finding fallen hemlock branches (porcupines), clods of dirt (grazing deer), a smooth trail to the creek (otters), and wing prints in the snow (a narrow miss with a red-tailed hawk). The call of “Dinner time!” has Milo following the trail back to a hole in the snow by his house; a cutaway view shows a second mouse waiting under the woodpile. As Milo lays his treasures—a feather, an acorn, a hemlock branch, and a fish skeleton—on the table, he declines his mother’s offer of stories: He’s got one to tell instead. Both have pale skin and straight, dark hair. Pair with some children’s nature guidebooks to ignite imaginations.

Coming November 17, 2020

Once Upon a Winter Day,
Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House ISBN 978-0823440993

-Kirkus Reviews

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© 2020  Liza Woodruff - No images may be used without express written permission of the artist.