a lemonade stand in winter?


30 DAYS OF PB 2013 aDay Twenty-Six: Lemonade in Winter: A Book about Two Kids Counting Money

by Emily Jenkins, illus. G. Brian Karas

Schwartz & Wade, 2012.lemonade in winter cover

I’ll start with the less positive spin: “A Lemonade Stand in a Snowstorm? No one will be on the street! No one will want cold drinks! But Pauline and her little brother, John-John, are already jumping with the idea” (jacket copy). Their parents fail to dissuade them (not that they seemed to try too hard), so instead they bundle them up and send them to the store, gather supplies, and spend hours out of doors in the snow. Okay, that didn’t sound all that bad; even with the snow-storming outside.

Here is the positive spin: In a starred review, Publishers Weekly writes: Lemonade in Winter is “a beautifully restrained tribute to trust and tenderness shared by siblings; an entrepreneurship how-to that celebrates the thrill of the marketplace without shying away from its cold realities; and a parable about persistence.”

The ridiculousness of the premise of a Lemonade Stand in Winter really speaks to the persistence Publishers Weekly picked up on. It is also the kind of premise kids are not going to readily ‘jump at the idea’–you hope. Just follow it with Keats’ Snowy Day.

lemonade_2The “trust and tenderness” between the siblings–which is worth the read alone–extends to the parents. The children go to the store, account for supplies, make the drinks, set up and come up with sales and marketing schemes: they just need their parents to let them go. They also need their community. Some happen by, others go out to show support. 

lemonade in winter

The children do not make a profit, which I appreciate Pauline’s notice. But the two have enough for what they want, and the venture was an exciting way to spend their day.  Lemonade in Winter is a sibling adventure, a small-business tale, and math lesson. It’s also nicely illustrated.

The choices for warm tones for the winter scenes takes the edge off. No crisp edged blues and violets and sharp whites here. Even so, the wind lets itself be known. These kids are either crazy, determined, or both. The illustrations have just enough cartoon, a playfulness to the otherwise real depictions and the reality of money. It is frequently messy around the children. And John-John getting juice in his eye is an amusing little detail. Jenkins brings a lot of personality to the text, but Karas matches her in energy and demonstration of childhood schemes. What I found mildly distracting was how small Pauline often is, yet how mature her understanding and her command of a situation. I suppose there is a lesson in that…


Lemonade in Winter is a nice departure from (money) counting books, readable in any season–though I’d recommend a hot cider for that winter read-along.

*there is a nice addition in the back called “Pauline Explains Money to John-John” wherein she does that very thing.

{images belong to G. Brian Karas}

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Tomoko d says:

    I would like to own this book. I’m trying to have more books for my daughter’s library. This book will be a great addition to her library.

  2. Gail says:

    Crazy kids. Very cute pictures. (want this one too).

thoughts? would love to hear them...

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