Bored? Nothing to do? Jump into a cozy picture book on a winter night. Troublesome trolls and a beauty's Beast! Helpful hedgehogs and polite polar bears! Whether you find yourself surrounded by swirling snowflakes or a chilly blue twilight, there are no better companions for winter's frozen brightness than Jan Brett's tales from the European tradition.
Jan Brett knows all about the magical relationship between a book and a reader. "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books," she once recalled. "Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists."
The Ice Dragon visits young Adara every winter near her birthday. The beast offers a chilly magnificence like no other creature. Adara does not fear the creature though, for she has felt the cold many times before.
A lonely child, Adara lost her mother in the rigors of her birth. Her father loves his daughter but struggles to connect with her, finding her too somber and a cruel memory of his wife's passing. It is this loneliness that forces Adara to embrace the winter. After meeting the ice dragon, they begin to ride in secret.
The constant beating of the winds against the house, the roaring, shrieking, howling of the storm, made it hard even to think. It was possible only to wait for the storm to stop. All the time, while they ground wheat, twisted hay, kept the fire burning in the stove, and huddled over it to thaw their chapped, numb hands and their itching, burning, chilblained feet, and while they chewed and swallowed the coarse bread, they were all waiting until the storm stopped.