Cousins of Clouds

Cousins of Clouds
Tracie's NEW BOOK!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter is the Warmest Season

Winter is the Warmest Season
By Lauren Stringer

About the book:
How can winter be the warmest season? Read this delightful book to find out and you might just agree!

About the author/illustrator:
Lauren Stringer is the illustrator of many acclaimed books, including Fold Me a Poem by Kristine O’Connell George; Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant; Our Family Tree: An Evolution Story by Lisa Westberg Peters and Mud and Red Rubber Boots Day both by Mary Lyn Ray.
Winter is the Warmest Season is the first book she has both written and illustrated. She was inspired to write it when her then six-year-old son said one hot summer day, “Mom, the warmest season is winter, because in winter we wear warm clothes, drink hot chocolate, and sit by burning fires.” Lauren and her family live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where it is very warm all winter.

Questions to think about:

1.  For the narrator, what season is warmest? Why?
2. Do you think winter is his favorite season? Why? What is yours?
3. What types of clothes must the narrator wear all winter? Do you have to wear that many warm clothes in your climate?
4. Can people ever dress like summer in winter? Why? Would you like to live somewhere that you wouldn’t need winter clothing? Why or why not?
5. Describe what animals do in winter.
6.  What foods go with summer? What foods are wonderful for winter? Which ones are your favorites?
7. Are most of the statements in the book facts or opinions? What is the difference? How can you tell?
8. Do you agree with the narrator- “I think parties are warmer in winter?” Why or why not? When is your favorite time and place to have a party?
9. Why do stories “last longer” in winter? When and where is your favorite place to read?
10. Which illustration is your favorite? Why? Why do you think Lauren Stringer chose the palette (or selection of colors) that she did for this story? What colors would you pick for a summer story? Why?


Red Hot Snowflakes!
After reading Winter is the Warmest Season try cutting snowflakes out of warm colored papers. Using reds, yellows, and oranges to make snowflakes for your classroom windows or walls will warm up any winter day! Talk with students about what makes colors cool and what makes other colors warm.

Mixed-up Seasons
After reading the book talk with students about the ideas that make winter seem like the warmest season. Is it really the warmest? If the book is right and winter is the warmest season, then would summer be the coldest season? Mak e alist of what makes summer the coldest season!

Things are Not Always As They Seem
After reading the book discuss “assumptions.” Usually when we think of winter we think of cold winds and freezing temperatures (in Minnesota anyway, where Lauren Stringer lives!) Look what happens when we flip our thoughts around and think of winter in a completely different way! Suddenly we are thinking of hot fires and warm clothes. What are other things we assume we know everything about? Starting with season, make a list of what we assume we know about the season. Try making a list of opposite observations and see if it can turn around the way you view the world! Try it with people you know or with animals.

Sing to the tune of “Mulberry Bush”

Winter is the Warmest Season
Warmest Season
Warmest Season

Winter is the warmest season
Inside the coat of friendship

Verse Two:

Winter is when we snuggle up
Snuggle up
Snuggle up

Winter is when we snuggle up
Inside are wooly warm clothes

Verse Three

Winter is when we share warm foods
Share warm foods
Share warm foods

Winter is when we share warm foods
Like soups and pies and hot breads!

Fact vs. Opinion
What is the difference between a fact and opinion? Can you find three of each in the book? Now, write five facts and five opinions about your favorite season!

Hot Potato
Divide a large piece of paper in half lengthwise. Now, draw or paint things that are cold in summer and hot in winter. Experiment with color- what color should cold things be? Why? What color should warm ones be?

Draw a picture of a house, tree or school four different times but change the season in each portrait. What details will you add? Why? What colors will you change?

This guide was created by Lauren Stringer (
And Tracie Vaughn Zimmer (