So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Tough Winter

The Tough Winter by Robert Lawson


In The Tough Winter, written in 1954, Robert Lawson brings us back to the setting of his Newbery Medal winning 1945 book Rabbit Hill. Set on a small hillside near Danbury Connecticut, the book tells the story of a rabbit family and their animal neighbors as they face a tough winter. The kind Folks, who live in the Big House and love and respect the animals, are going south for the winter, and all the animals are concerned about how the Caretakers, who will spend the winter in the house, will treat them. In addition, Uncle Analdas has predicted that they are in for a tough winter.
Analdas' prediction takes on increasing importance at defining events as bad things start to happen. A major ice storm starts the winter off badly, and the uncaring Caretakers arrive with a dog who threatens the animals and their homes. Yet they show a response of communal support to all hardships that prevents tragedy from overcoming them. Lawson lovingly contrasts the wisdom of the older rabbits to the exuberance of the young Little Georgie and his friend Willie the field mouse.
Written three years before the author's death at the age of 64, this book is about threats and obstacles overcome and how community and cooperation are vital to this process. Its portrayal of a tough Connecticut winter is excellently done. Beautifully illustrated with black and white drawings of rabbits, this was a book I enjoyed reading.

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