In Georgia, we have had a serious lack of winter weather. In fact, in the start of November, I walked outside to find these:
Yes, those are Paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) blooming in my backyard. In most places, you can’t grow Paperwhites outdoors because they can’t tolerate the cold. Here in Georgia, though, I have Paperwhites growing with the other bulbs, and they come back every spring. Except these ones, which apparently thought November was spring based on the ridiculous weather we’ve been having. Now it’s January, and all of the rest of the daffodils are beginning to bud, so I imagine the spring blooms will be coming shortly.
Anyway, the serious lack of winter has not made me very happy. It has definitely made me wish for cold and snow. Even a little! One day when I was grumping to myself about warm weather, I realized that this fall I read 3 books that incorporated the Snow Queen of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale. This was a bit of a surprise. I mean, I’m used to stories like Cinderella or The Twelve Dancing Princesses popping up in books, but the Snow Queen? Never. Maybe these authors just thought it would be a good idea to incorporate a less-well-known (and less-used) fairytale. Or maybe they also wanted some more cold weather. I imagine it’s probably the former, but I prefer the cold weather explanation.
The books were: Frost by Wendy Delsol, Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu, and Invisible Things by Jenny Davidson.
Both Frost and Invisible Things are sequels to other Young Adult novels that I really enjoyed, although I didn’t love these as much as the original books in the series. The Snow Queen plays a major role in Frost, but only shows up near the end of Invisible Things. Of the two, I preferred Frost.
Breadcrumbs, on the other hand is a standalone middle-grades novel. And it is fabulous. Definitely my favorite of the three. The story of the Snow Queen is the basis for the entire story, although other other fairytale characters from Andersen and Grimm are also incorporated as Hazel searches for her friend Jack. (Incidentally, the lost boy in Frost is also named Jack. He’s a descendant of Jack Frost. Funny, huh?)
I definitely recommend Breadcrumbs to anyone, recommend Frost to fans of Stork, and would only recommend Invisible Things to those who have read The Explosionist. But I certainly enjoyed all of the appearances of the Snow Queen. Now if I could only get her to visit my house!