A Medley of Picture Books About SNOW
Has it snowed enough yet? A medley of picture books about – snow! I look out the window of the bookshop to the street and watch the snow fall, and fall and fall. Last winter was long, and this one is off to a good start. I must say that I love the snow – not the cold – but the snow. It is as magical for me now as it was when I was a child – so I sat down to read some of my favourite children’s “snow” picture books.
Katy and the Big Snow, by Virginia Lee Burton, was published in 1943 and it is still a wonderful book for generation after generation of children. The city of Geoppolis could just as easily be Parry Sound and Katy the highway department’s snowplow. “By afternoon the snow was ten inches deep and still coming down (sounds like home). “Looks like a Big Snow,” they said at the highway department, and sent Katy out.” Katy saves the day by plowing out the railway station, the telephone company, the electric company, the hospital and the fire station, the airport runway, and the neighborhood streets – “vintage” illustrations and suspenseful text make this book a delight to read aloud.
Another of my favourites is Brave Irene by William Stein. The local dressmaker has taken to her bed, and her little daughter, Irene, must deliver a special dress to the palace – through a raging blizzard. It is a very exciting journey – but all turns out very well in the end. Again the perfect combination of text and illustration make this book a treasure.
Then there are the new ones, published in the last few years. Snow Day by Werner Zimmermann is a simple little story children in this community can easily understand – the delight of a “snow day.” School is closed and the children run wild on a beautiful snowy day.
Stella Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay is one of a series of books about Stella and her younger brother Sam. Stella knows everything – both frightening and fascinating to her little brother – but always reassuring as she teaches him about the world around them.
Winter brings days of skating and exploring as these siblings delight readers with their witty conversation. This is another very, very talented author/illustrator who has produced some really perfect picture books.
SkySisters by Jan Bourdeau Waboose features another pair of siblings – this time sisters who go out at night to look for the northern lights. Along the way they see rabbits and deer in the snow – and finally the beautiful northern lights.
Jan Brett, author and illustrator, brings us a winter book The Three Snow Bears, her own take on the traditional Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This version however is set in the far north; the bears are polar bears, their home an igloo, and the little girl an Inuit child who arrives by dog sled. Children will delight in this version of a story they already know so well.
Stranger in the Woods – a Photographic Fantasy by Carl R Sams is a book of photographs of a snowman and all of the woodland animals and birds that visit him in his idyllic snowy world.
And of course Winnie in Winter by Valerie Thomas. “I’m tired of winter,” said Winnie the Witch as she sees her garden covered in snow. So abracadabra! she makes it summer. A mistake she soon discovers. So abracadabra again and winter is back – this time appreciated by all. “This is warm and cosy,’ said Winnie. Winter is lovely too.’”
It really is a beautiful snowy world – get out and enjoy it – then cuddle up with a child and enjoy a beautifully illustrated and well-written wintry story book.