The Taste of Snow by Stephen V. Masse is the story of eleven year old Nicole Kinders in the winter season looking on to the Christmas holiday. This story is set in the Austrian Alps with Nicole and her younger sister Ashley who travel together each day to school. Along the way one day, a shopkeeper gives Nicole a candy cane and claims it to be magical. He insists that if she doesn’t like it she can return it to him at no cost to her. But if she finds that her candy cane is magical she could come later to pay him half a Euro.
Nicole couldn’t imagine what could possibly be magical about a candy cane. She breaks off a piece and sets on her ride to school. Soon things begin to happen. Most of the things happening seemed to be all negative. Nicole couldn’t figure exactly what was so magical when all these bad things were happening. Not realizing all of the good things that were happening at the same time. Nicole returns to the shopkeeper to give back the candy cane as it did her no good. It is then when she realizes that magic doesn’t just come in the form of tricks but magic is all around us if we would only stop to be thankful for all of the good things, even when in the midst of all the bad.
Nicole and Ashley are your typical sisters. Stephen does an excellent job of creating sibling bickering and painting the images of what is happening all around. There are lots of details about the different ways that different cultures celebrate the Christmas holiday. With a Papa that loves to tell stories and the girls mesmerized by them each time, this book is filled with lots of love and laughter. I found myself giggling throughout. There are family challenges to overcome, young friendships to be tested and lessons to be learned, all in the spirit of the holiday season.
What a perfect time to get snuggled up with The Taste of Snow. You don’t even have to be an 11 year old girl to enjoy this book. Where a different kind of magic is brought to life, you will surely feel warm and fuzzy. The real Nicole was right when she said “Make that story a book. Your books rock!” I am sure glad he did! I highly recommend The Taste of Snow and as Stephen would say “Enjoy the Magic!”