Holly Webb

Frost

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Being William’s ‘baby sister’ means Cassie is often left behind by the other children. However, this is how she comes to see the foxes which are living near her block of flats. Her favourite is a small one with really red fur and a tail ‘tipped in white’, who she names Frost. As an understanding develops between them, Frost leads Cassie into a completely different world…

As a child, I was fascinated by the idea of the Frost Fairs. The thought that London was cold enough for the Thames to freeze over and for people to set up stalls and have fires on the ice seemed magical. I can't remember when or how I found out about them, but this doesn’t seem to be part of English history that many people are familiar with. You can read more about these fairs on the Historic UK website here.

This delightful little book takes Cassie back in time to a very different London to that which she is familiar with and allows the reader to explore the Thames Frost Fair. It includes lots of historical details which are explained quite naturally with the context of the story.

The story also considers urban foxes and the differing views people hold about them. Cassie’s joy at watching them and finding out about them is set against the worries of the flat’s tenants who complain about the bins being ransacked and fear the foxes might hurt someone. There is lots of potential for discussions about this and how nature and people should be able to live harmoniously.

‘Frost’ is also a story about people coming to understand and help one another. As Cassie comes to know Mrs Morris, her bad tempered, complaining neighbour, she realises how mistaken she has been and each benefits from their developing friendship.

A lovely story, perfect for newly independent readers or as a story to share, ‘Frost’ is well written and very enjoyable with lovely illustrations throughout. I hope Frost and Cassie are destined to have more adventures together.

Frost Holly Webb, cover illustration by Britta Teckentrup.

Stripes Publishing ISBN: 978- 1847159533