By Connie Goldin, LMFT
First Snow, by Peter McCarty, is a treasure. Five little dog siblings are awaiting the arrival of their cousin, Pedro, from far away. Sancho, Bella, Lola, Ava and Maria see Pedro come in a taxi cab with his aunt, their mom. The license plate on the taxi says, “YELOLAB”, which makes me think the puppies are Labradors. If there is any dog on Earth that knows how to have fun, it’s a Labrador. If there are any dogs on Earth that know how to have fun in the snow, they are Labrador puppies! Only problem is, Pedro doesn’t like the cold…or the cold snow…or anything connected to snow. Yet! Soon the neighborhood kids come out to play and sled. There are bunny children, a swell looking young pig, a rooster in a beanie, and some kittens, too. Everyone is bundled up in parkas and winter gear. Before you know it, Pedro is flying down the hill on a sled and lands in a snow bank. He is loves it! Soon the kids are having a big, happy snowball fight and the story ends saying, “For the rest of the day, Pedro did not feel cold at all.” First Snow is a beautifully illustrated book with a happy story. It’s perfect for children 4-8, but is also a joy for readers of all ages.
For kids living in warm places, like San Diego, now is the time to whip up a batch of “Snow Dough” and refrigerate it. It’s easy and feels and sounds like squeaky snow. Cold, it makes a fun snow substitute. We love the recipe from The Imagination Tree. (We omit the glitter for kids three and younger.)
All you need is corn starch, and vegetable oil. The cornstarch makes a nice squeaky dough. Use two cups of cornstarch and slowly add 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. It blends best with the tool used to “cut” butter into pie crusts, but works fine with a fork as well. The end result is crumbly and scrunchy.
Top off the day with a demitasse cup of hot chocolate and giant marshmallows for a lovely winter treat. Perhaps you can even invite Pedro and his cousins to your little winter party!