Cover image for A Redwall winter's tale
A Redwall winter's tale
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, c2001.
Physical Description:
72 p. : color illustrations.
Reading Level:
AD 850 L Lexile
Added Author:
Funloving Bungo the molebabe and his friend Tubspike the hedgehog maid welcome a travelling troupe that visits Redwall Abbey to celebrate the coming of Snowbadger, the Lord of Wintertide.


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On the last day of autumn, the Redwallers are preparing for some special guests: a troupe of traveling players who promise an evening of entertainment in exchange for a grand feast. The merriment continues far into the evening, until it's time for sleepy Dibbuns to be tucked in their beds with a story: the tale of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide, who comes on the first night of winter, bringing snow across the land.

As they did in The Great Redwall Feast , Christopher Denise's warm pastel illustrations and Brian Jacques' magical words take young readers straight to the heart of Redwall. Fans, young and old, will be enchanted by this delightful winter's tale, spun by a master storyteller.

Author Notes

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, England on June 15, 1939. After he finished St. John's School at the age of fifteen, he became a merchant seaman and travelled to numerous ports including New York, Valparaiso, San Francisco, and Yokohama. Tiring of the lonely life of a sailor, he returned to Liverpool where he worked as a railway fireman, a longshoreman, a long-distance truck driver, a bus driver, a boxer, a police constable, a postmaster, and a stand-up comic. During the sixties, he was a member of the folk singing group The Liverpool Fishermen. He wrote both poetry and music, but he began his writing career in earnest as a playwright. His three stage plays Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies, and Scouse have been performed at the Everyman Theatre.

He wrote Redwall for the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind in Liverpool, where he delivered milk as a truck driver. His style of writing is very descriptive, because of the nature of his first audience, for whom he painted pictures with words, so that they could see them in their imaginations. After Alan Durband, his childhood English teacher, read Redwall, he showed it to a publisher without telling Jacques. This event led to a contract for the first five books in the Redwall series. He also wrote the Castaways of the Flying Dutchman series. He died on February 5, 2011.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In A Redwall Winter's Tale, a picture-book follow-up to The Great Redwall Feast, a troupe of traveling entertainers visits the abbey to commemorate the arrival of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide. But a fanciful bedtime story leaves Bungo the molebabe wondering what is real and what is fantasy. Christopher Denise's illustrations capture the waning sunlight and complement the alternating prose and verse. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

This illustrated presentation of a Redwall celebration will please Jacques's fans despite its flaws. The text inexplicably shifts back and forth between prose and verse as it describes the antics of a traveling band of performers and an appearance by the legendary Snow Badger, who brings winter to the land. Although the muted earth-tone palette is appropriate for a woodland story, the result is somewhat dull. From HORN BOOK Spring 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 2-5. Bungo the molebabe and his friend Tubspike the hedgehog maid welcome a troupe of traveling players that arrive to entertain the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey on the last day of autumn. Matthais the Warrior Mouse and his wife, Cornflower, preside as the performers sing, dance, juggle, and execute magical tricks. Following a sumptuous banquet, the Abbey's residents and guests fall asleep and Lord Wintertide arrives, bringing the Snow Badger and his legions of snow hares to blanket the earth. As he did in a companion volume, The Great Redwall Feast (1996), Jacques offers a shorter, less complex story (some of it rhymed) in a picture-book format aimed at younger readers. Denise's appealing, cozy illustrations perfectly capture the feel of the text. This has a larger cast of characters than found in most picture books, and listeners who are unfamiliar with the other Redwall titles may be somewhat confused. Children who have heard some of the tales may be the best audience here, and they'll appreciate finding a story that is easy enough for them to manage. --Kay Weisman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-The inhabitants of Redwall Abbey are celebrating Autumn's final day and the coming of Winter. When the entertaining and feasting are over, the Abbeybabes are taken to the nursery dormitory and told the story of how Snow Badger comes to earth every winter to coat the ground with snow. Only Bulbrock Badger still believes in him, and wears a parchment scroll around his neck as the souvenir of their meeting long ago. Early the next morning, as Snow Badger is just finishing coating the windowpanes with frost, Baby Bungo pokes his head out to meet him. Of course no one believes the mole-babe, until Bulbrock notices that he now also wears a parchment scroll around his neck. Solving the riddle on it will prove Snow Badger's existence. The narration disconcertingly bursts into rhyme often, sometimes with poetic asides and sometimes just continuing the story. Some of the creatures speak in dialect, which would be wonderful to hear but is difficult to read. Denise's illustrations are reminiscent of the color plates in the original book, done by Troy Howell, but with major changes. The earth-toned palette is cranked up to maximum brightness, the focus is softer and less detailed, and all of the creatures look fat and happy, perhaps reflecting a more peaceful time. It is hard to imagine the audience for this book. It is too long, rambling, and descriptive for preschool storyhours or beginning readers, although it could be shared as a lap-book with one or a few children. Older children who love the "Redwall" series (Philomel) for the excitement, conflict, and danger will be disappointed to find none of those elements here. Of course, true fans will need to read it, if only because it's here.-Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.