'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 30 January 2016

Review: Stina

Originally published in Icelandic as Stína Stórasæng (Stina with the big duvet), Stina is the story of a girl who feels the cold. She feels it so much that when winter approaches she stays inside and doesn’t go out. She prefers the warmth of “her big, white, goose-down duvet” to the chill of ice cream and swimming pools.

Stina imagines ways to stay warm without leaving the house. Her capacity for inventing is big, as she designs a double-sided icebox (fridge), cozy toes (woolly shoes that have pockets for hot water bottles), and a mitten cup warmer and woollen hat teapot warmer. The book even comes comes complete with step-by-step instructions for knitting without needles, and a recipe for Stina’s Hot Cocoa.

Despite her creativity, Stina is lonely inside the house all by herself. She watches children playing in the snow and wonders what it would be like to join them, but even the pull of possibly ending her loneliness isn’t enough to lure her to act. One day, Stina makes new friends when two children are literally blown inside and tell her about their plans for an enormous snowball. She decides to create something new so she can test her wondering. In the end, Stina learns that feeling warm isn’t always about the weather!

Lani Yamamoto’s illustrations are distinctive and the story simple, yet appealing and full of meaning. You can watch an interview with her about Stina here.

Stina was nominated for the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Prize for Literature in 2014, and won the 2014 Fjoruverdlaunin Women's Literary Prize for Children's Books and 2014 Dimmalimm Icelandic Illustration Award.

Title: Stina
Author/Illustrator: Lani Yamamoto
Publisher: V&A Publications, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781851778584
For ages: 4-8 years
Type: Picture book