The Winter Train by Susanna Isern and Ester Garcia

In contrast to the aptly wintry and languid atmosphere that permeates its pages, this beautifully illustrated book spins an imaginative and heartwarming story about how — instead of holing up somewhere and hibernating — a motley group of animals in the Northern Forest make like migratory birds and escape the bitter cold by catching a special train that will bring them to the Southern Forest.

When one of them accidentally gets left behind, however, the animals demonstrate their camaraderie by banding together to ensure that everyone gets on the train safely.

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I really enjoyed the idea behind the story, and how the dreamy, evocative illustrations brought the book to life. However, it does suffer from some unevenness in the writing. (Part of the reason could be that it was originally written in Spanish and then translated.)

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But that’s probably just me being nitpicky since it is still a stand-out addition to the many winter-themed books out there — and one that should not be missed for the breathtaking illustrations alone.

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