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A young girl’s first-person narration brings a New England sled ride to life. But this isn’t just any sled ride. Inspired by ice-crusted snow, Grampa Bud’s yarns of his childhood and a giant homemade double-runner sled, seven friends set out to conquer the “highest, mightiest, iciest sledding hill.” Rule lengthens out one sled run into an entire book, but its pace is not slow and clunky, nor does it drag. Instead, she marvels in the details along the way, building up the suspense. Comically, the children attempt to get themselves and the sled to the top of the hill, taking each other out like dominoes as they relentlessly and repeatedly slide down to form a pig pile at the bottom. When they finally manage it, Thermes beautifully conveys the awesomeness of the hill they have chosen to tackle; none of the kids will speak their fears aloud, though their faces say volumes. The trip down is accomplished in just a few spreads, a ride so fast that tears, fears, screams and laughter all get whipped, “like a beautiful scarf trailing wildly behind.” The watercolors give a wonderful array of viewpoints, showing the path of the sled run as well as close-ups of the children: fresh-faced and having the time of their lives. Parents beware: Children are likely to scout out the highest hill to try to replicate this amazing run. (Picture book. 4-8) --Kirkus ReviewsWhen an icy crust forms over the snow, Lizzie and her friends have one thing on their minds: sledding. Lizzie persuades her Grandpa Bud to lend her the homemade sled he used as a child (“We promised not to break ourselves”), and the children make the difficult climb up a slick, crusty hill of ice. Rule and Thermes gracefully depict the exhilaration of snowy play and the wisp of anxiety that comes as they gaze down the intimidating slope. There’s a nostalgic air to the book; Lizzie’s story reads like one that she’ll pass down to later generations, just like Grandpa Bud’s stories and his sled. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)--Publishers Weekly
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