Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 10
- Grade: k to 5
As Jo helps her mother and her baby brother on a cold and windy Christmas Eve, she searches for shelter — any kind of shelter — for the little family. Her mother is ill and the baby needs feeding. There is no other option but a barn owned by a local farmer known as a solitary grouch. Nobody cares for Franklin Murdoch, and Jo doesn't trust him to care for her family. But Murdoch turns out to be less of a threat than Jo has feared. He makes the desperate family a warm sanctuary in his home. And when the wind has died and snow falls on Christmas morning, peace has come to them all. Stephanie McLellan's spare text is complemented by the subtle but beautiful art of Brooke Kerrigan in a book that is a reminder of the essential story of Christmas.
About the authors
Stephanie McLellan is a passionate promoter of literacy and the author of the award-winning picture books The Chicken Cat and Leon's Song. Her 2013 title Hoogie in the Middle, inspired by her now-grown children, was a Resource Links "The Year's Best" selection, a Best Books for Kids & Teens selection, and a TVO Parents "Books to Read as a Family" Selection. Its companion book Tweezle into Everything has been enthusiastically received.
Brooke Kerrigan has loved to draw ever since she was a little girl. If there was a pencil nearby she couldn't resist the urge pick it up and begin to doodle, so it seemed only natural that she grow up to become an artist. Of all her creative endeavors, illustrating children's books is her favourite. Born in Toronto, she currently lives in a little town in the French Alps that inspires her every day. Brooke has illustrated six previous picture books, among them Kiss Me: I'm a Prince!, Dog Breath and Fishermen Through and Through — nominated for a Blue Spruce Award.
- Commended, A Starred selection on the CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens list