Will This Winter Ever End?

by Edie Ziebel

Is there a winter corollary for the "dog days" of summer? This time of year has us sniffing for that first hint of spring on a warm breeze.

One could ask, once we have Ezra Jack Keats' A SNOWY DAY, do we need any more? That book is the prototype of snow books, it has everything a snow book should. It starts with Peter waking up to a transformed world covered with snow. He notices how quiet the snowy world sounds and he looks at the different shapes his footprints make in the snow. He considers joining in a snowball fight with older kids, but decides he'd rather have fun making a smiling snowman and a snow angel. He ends his day outdoors saving a snowball in his pocket. Back inside, his mother peels off his wet clothes and he soaks in a warm bath. He's sad when he discovers that the snowball is not in his pocket any longer! But upon awakening, it's snowing again and he joins his friends and neighbors from across the hall for another day of fun in the snow.

This past year adds some worthy company to that classic.

Rather than focusing on a single boy's experience, Cold Snap written by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated Marjorie Priceman shows the entire town of Toby Mills enduring a long, cold winter. It's filled with "wintry detail" such as numb toes and and icicles hanging from the nose of the General Toby's statue. A toasty treat helps the townspeople realize that eventually, spring will come. It's an exuberant and colorful book!

A very different take on the snow and winter is Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed, illustrated by Barbara McClintock. The book follows a family in Maine through a typical Maine winter. They're not complaining about the snow and yearning for the spring. They're looking forward to every detail of 12 kinds of ice!

It starts with a thin hard surface on a sheep pail, so delicate it breaks when it's touched. We learn about the difference between field ice and streamed ice. Ice in the orchard, the garden, "perfect ice" until finally, the last ice.

The text is arranged in twenty vignettes that are beautifully written and illustrated. A gem of a book!

I've really had enough of winter! I hope that atmospheric conditions will be encouraging me to write about springtime titles soon!

About the Author

childrens book designer art directorEDIE ZIEBEL, Book Designer, Art Director

From baby books, to chapter books, through middle grade readers and young adult books, Edie Ziebel has designed and art directed over 1,000 books. Edie has worked at several major publishing houses and has always been a freelance designer throughout her career. She has collaborated with outstanding, award-winning illustrators as well as newcomers to the field, helping them to create compelling books for young readers. To help nurture talent, Edie volunteers with the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature One-on-One Conference, which she has co-chaired for the past 3 years.

With experience in trade, mass-market, and educational publishing, Edie will bring the appropriate design to your project. Specializing in books for very young children, Edie can help you develop illustrated books, guiding the development of the artwork itself, as well as the layout and pacing to make your story jump off the page. Edie’s also has collaborated on many different types and formats of novelty books, she can really think "outside the box".

Her experience working with licensed properties can help you create a character that stands out in the crowded license marketplace. She can develop style guides to help keep characters consistent whether you continue to create  their books or have others extend your line.

Edie’s time in educational publishing helped develop her informational graphic skills, helping authors bring home their point to readers in a clear, graphic manner. She’s also designed books and materials targeted towards teachers. 

Bringing a sensitivity to typography and layout to all her book projects, Edie Ziebel can bring the best out of you!

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"She is intelligent, concise, has a good eye for detail and a great sense of humor."

"Edie one of my favorite art directors ever. We worked on a number of wonderful books together at Cartwheel, a Scholastic imprint. She is imaginative, creative, inspirational and a pure pleasure to work with. I repeat, one of the best!"

"Edie is a phenomenal organizer who’s able to juggle many projects at once, and she manages schedules and people with ease. She was well-loved by her staff, and all the freelance designers and artists she worked with. I was lucky to have her on my team. A strong designer of both upscale trade and mass-market children’s books--a rare combination—I don’t think I ever once saw her lose patience or become flustered."

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