Day 26, book 26: Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins

I never had a lemonade stand as a kid. (I know, I know, yesterday I was all complain-y about missing out on crafting during my childhood years. I promise I’m not going to moan about lemonade stands now). Kids who live at the end of long dirt roads in the country do not have lemonade stands. They also do not go hang out in their neighbour’s tree house after school, or get pizza delivery, or have more than one kid show up for trick-or-treating on Halloween. Country kids, like me, have other things – wonderful things like fireflies and their own ponds and bonfires and howling coyotes. But no lemonade stands. As it happens, this has not affected my ability to make prize-winning homemade lemonade. Because I never had the chance to run a lemonade stand as a child, I am completely helpless at resisting the sweet cries of, “Would you like some lemonade?” from the kids on my city street who run stands all through the summer. I am a guaranteed customer, even though their lemonade comes from a can and mine is “from scratch.”

Lemonade in Winter, by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, follows Pauline and John-John, a bold sister and brother team, when they decide to have a lemonade stand in the middle of winter on a day when “a mean wind blows” and “icicles hang from the windowsills.”  Their parents cannot dissuade them, indeed, nothing does. They hunt down all the loose change around their house, gather the ingredients from the corner store, make their drinks, and go out into the cold. Everyone thinks they’re crazy, but as it turns out, this doesn’t stop people in the neighborhood from stopping by. Throughout the story, Pauline tries to teach her little brother a thing or two about how money – and business – works. They bring in entertainment and decorations and decide to have a sale to inspire customers. In the end, they don’t make their money back, but they’ve learned a thing or two about making plans and making their own fun, seeing them through, and working together.

The sibling dynamic is right on. Pauline is a little bit bossy, but well-meaning, with her “let me show you how to do this John-John” attitude. John-John goes along for the ride with all the enthusiasm you could expect from a little brother, and comes up with good ideas of his own. Lessons about how money works, and the basics of a shopping transaction get woven into the story with subtlety. The last page of the book explains the coins and offers tips on how to remember what is what (American currency). It’s lovely to see Jenkins capture how for kids, a big idea or goal, is often something small. She shows kids how to break down a goal into stages and make it happen. Of course it’s nice to see home made fun from ordinary family life being celebrated. Karas’s muted artwork, smudgy with snowflakes, soft and pale and frosty-looking, makes this winter day and cozy community, come vividly to life. Read about his artistic process for the book here.

A great read for aspiring entrepreneurs and big dreamers, or for when the kids cry bored.

Lemonade in Winter is published by Schwartz and Wade.


3 thoughts on “Day 26, book 26: Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins

  1. Myranda M.

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I like how you have the page set up and organized and I enjoyed the personal touches in your blog such as the section about your background, which relates to the book, and the links to the webpage of authors and illustrators of the books you review. I think it’s the personal touches that make a blog fun and interesting. I also thought there was a good balance between the summary of the book and critique of the book. You talk about the book but you don’t give the book away; I also think you give good insight to the general themes of the books you review. I like the information given on the right side of the blog that talks about the blog itself and it also gives a preview about the next book that is coming. Additionally, I like how you have links to other blogs and other useful sites. I think your blog is not just entertaining but is also a great resource for teachers who are looking for books their students will enjoy.

  2. shelfelf Post author

    Hi Myranda. What lovely compliments! (I’m blushing). Thank you so much for your feedback and for taking a look around. Hope you find more you like in the future!

  3. Pingback: {book} the little bit scary people « omphaloskepsis

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