Let it Snow!
A Winter-Themed Review From Rita Zobayan.
The holidays are over, but winter is still in full force in parts of the country! Grab a blanket, your favorite warm drink, and cuddle up to enjoy these wonderful winter stories.
You Make Me Smile by Layn Marlow is a sweet and simple story about a little girl who makes a snowman smile. As the first snow falls, a normal day becomes special for the girl who ventures out of her warm house to create a snowy friend. She gathers her materials and builds a buddy, and while the oncoming seasons may separate them, they will once again be able to share their friendship at winter’s return.
I enjoyed the clever play of words during the description. Is the narrator the girl describing the snowman or vice versa?
You’ll be cold, cold, cold, with a radish-red nose. Your arms may be stiff, but your eyes are going to shine. A long woolen scarf around your neck should keep you warm, but the cold doesn’t seem to matter to you, because…today is the special day…when you make me…smile.
The illustrations and typography suit the story well. They are inviting and warm, even though they depict winter. Look for small details, such as the girl’s watchful father, his birdhouse, and its inhabitants. You Make Me Smile certainly brought a smile to my face.
(You Make Me Smile by Layn Marlow, Holiday House, $16.95, Ages 3 and up)
In Pip and Posy: The Snowy Day by Axel Scheffler, Pip the rabbit and Posy the mouse are excited to play in the snow! There’s so much to do: leave big footprints, catch snowflakes on their tongues, make snow angels, and go sledding. But when it comes time to create a snow creature, they can’t agree.
“Snowmouse,” said Posy.
“Snowrabbit,” said Pip.
Posy was so mad at Pip that she threw the snow creature’s head at him. Oh, dear! Then Pip was even angrier with Posy, so he pushed her very hard and she fell in the snow. Oh, dear! Now Pip and Posy were both very cold and very sad. Poor Pip! Poor Posy!
Will they work out their differences? Can they remain friends? Pip and Posy: The Snowy Day shows children that even best friends can disagree, and that kindness and consideration are really what makes for a great friendship.
Snow can seem magical—its stark purity, its delicacy as it falls, and its ability to create what can seem like another world. When It Snows by Richard Collingridge takes us on a magical journey with a little boy and his teddy bear. On his adventure, the boy finds polar bears, skiers, “the place where the snowmen live,” and the Queen of the Poles who introduces him to “tiny fairies that glow” and “thousands of elves and other magical creatures.” But the best wonder of all is revealed at the end, and it is one that readers will hold dear.
The illustrations with muted colors and shading perfectly create a feeling of other-worldliness and capture the wonder seen through the boy’s eyes. My four-year old daughter was captivated by this book, I think, mostly because of its sense of fantasy. She even said, “I want to go in there,” pointing to the book, which just goes to show that a book dealing with snow can bring warmth to your heart.
(When It Snows by Richard Collingridge, Feiwel and Friends, 2013; $16.99; ages 4 and up)