Time to Move South for Winter


The ‘tiny black-capped tern’ opens her wings. The chill in air, with ‘the sun- a little less bright’ and ‘the sky- a little less blue‘ tell her that it’s Time to Move South for Winter.

However, her journey is mammoth, magnificent and charted across seas, mountains and vast plains. Thereafter, she flies over turtles ‘looking for jellyfish in the warm water currents’. What’s more, she watches the ocean giant  whales dive ‘a little deeper beneath the surface‘ as they, too, swim toward summer ‘in the waves’. Other creatures stir, like caribou coursing ‘between- valleys and through rivers’, while geese push past, strongly.

What’s more, she works her way through ‘a kaleidoscope of colour and wings‘ as millions of butterflies sail toward ‘the promise’ of summer.

Despite her weariness and the wonder of the world she passes through and over, the little tern swoops, soars, flutters and flies  to reach other black caps like her, all knowing it was Time to Move South for Winter.

Bookwagon cannot praise this exceptional book enough. From Clare Helen Welsh’s breathtaking, illustrative text to Jenny Løvlie’s luscious, exultant pictures, this is a glorious title. Bookwagon recommends Time to Move South for Winter to gift, share at bedtime, read and love alone, and then to relish in school too.

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Time to Move South for Winter

Clare Helen Welsh and Jenny Løvlie

(Nosy Crow)– hardback

When the sun seems ‘a little less bright’ and the sky seems ‘a little less blue‘ it’s Time to Move South for Winter. Thereafter, a ‘tiny black-capped tern‘ opens her wings and prepares to fly. She is ‘in search of summer in the sky’.
It seems she will make many discoveries and face huge challenges on her flight. For example she spots ‘whales below, rising like islands in the ice-filled sea’. We know their story from The Sea Swallow and the Humpback Whale. Then again, she spies ‘caribou, snaking like ants over the hills, between the valleys and through rivers’. However, the tiny tern continues her flight. Although fees fly past, prompting her to ‘keep up‘, her tiny wings are not like those that slide effortlessly. She must power on as determinedly as she might, past ‘tear-drop turtles‘ through a ‘canvas of black and orange, black and orange‘ butterflies.
Alongside Clare Helen Welsh’s descriptive, illustrative text that emphasises the wonder and distance of this journey, the pictures of Jenny Løvlie are celebratory, stretching, glorious. Bookwagon adores this outstanding picture book, which extends our understanding of seasonal changes, so that we appreciate the rhythm, impulse and wonder of our planet. We recommend Time to Move South for Winter to readers at home, to gift, read over, share and cherish, and for school, too.


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