Thursday, October 30, 2014

Winterfrost by Michelle Houts

This is a fairytale that could have been written with me in mind.  It features Nisse, a small person (gnome like) that has tremendous strength for its size and traditions that have been going on for years.  In this case, it's the Nisse in the barn that gets upset because he didn't get his Christmas Eve snack.  What happens next is awful!

Candlewick Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can grab a copy at your local bookstore.  This would make a great Christmas gift.  I'd love to have my own copy, hint, hint.

Bettina's parents get called away at Christmas time.  Her father was going to visit his Uncle like usual, but her grandmother fell and broke her hip and needed someone to stay with her until she could come home for care.  Bettina is only 12, but she's been caring for Pia and knows all the farms duties.  She also has neighbors close who will check on her.  Nothing will go wrong.  If only Bettina hadn't forgotten the rice pudding with butter on top...

She has never noticed the Nisse herself, but Pia has.  Pia talks to him and laughs happily while Bettina does the chores but she thinks she's just amusing herself.  When she puts Pia in the baby carriage with lots of blankets and sets her outside for her nap (fresh air is good for children), she sits inside and watches her.  She doesn't realize she's so tired, she'll fall asleep.  When she awakens, Pia is gone.

Bettina gets to meet more Nisse, learns to be small herself, flies on the back of goose, and gets involved in family turmoil within the Nisse family.  She has to succeed in uniting them to get Pia back.  And she needs do that real soon because her parents will be home soon.

The neighbors keep trying to check on her, a mysterious Nisse is keeping her house warm and the animals fed, and Bettina has quite an adventure.  This is Danish story and I loved every bit of it.  Get a copy; it will make you smile.

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