Isabelle watched the group of children move off down the road, jingling their collecting tins. The pavement was slippery with frost and icy puddles, and one of the girls nearly skidded over. A couple of the others grabbed her to hold her up and they all giggled.
Summary From Stripes
The countdown to Christmas has begun and Isabelle is enjoying a family day out at the zoo. As her sister watches the penguins, Isabelle is the only one to catch a glimpse of a snow leopard, with its beautiful spotted silver-grey coat and long fluffy tail.
Fascinated by these rare and endangered creatures, Isabelle tries to find out what she can do to help protect them. Little does she know, she's about to be whisked into her very own magical snow leopard adventure where a mother and her cubs are in danger.
Isabelle has moved to a new area and has not yet made friends at school. She becomes interested in snow leopards after a trip to the zoo with her family, then finds herself magically transported to a place where snow leopards live in the wild. With the help of a new friend there, she must save a family of snow leopards. She must also get herself home again when her task is done.
This is a great book for animal-loving girls. The story is simply told and easy to follow, and it makes clear the conflict that exists between indigenous people trying to make a living in areas where big cats threaten their livestock. The book has lots of cute snow leopard detail, though how Isabelle finds herself transported isn't really explained. There's a satisfying subplot, with Isabelle longing to fit in with her classmates at her new school.
The book is illustrated with black and white line drawings every four pages or so. As it's set at Christmastime, it would make a good Christmas present for girls aged around six to eight.