It is winter and as I type this, there are flakes of snow speeding about outside the window. And how can you not remember the times you were a kid and went out in the snow to play on a day like this? (Okay, maybe not in Hawaii or someplace equally warm….) But I remember the boots, hats, mittens (with mittens attached to a string that went around your back to the other mitten, so you didn’t lose it…) and snowsuits (that were magic: once on, you had to go to the bathroom.) Soooo, maybe not so magical, which is why I like reading about snow in books now. And these two picture books fit the bill perfectly.
Snow Friends by Margery Cuyler and Will Hillenbrand doing the illustrations. You ever really want to like a book, but something about it just falls flat? This was it. There are all the great elements: friendship, dogs, snow, and adventure. There are adorable illustrations (which saved this book for me). I know that there is an audience for this book (children 5 to 7 and adults), but I was not in that category. It is a book that must be experienced by yourself and others cannot tell you how to feel about a doggie that wants to play with their child, but along the way finds adventure and new friends. The nice thing about this book, you get the joy of the snow without the wet doggie smell that comes with it.
I did like Ten Ways to Hear Snow by Cathy Camper a lot more. It was not just Kenard Pak’s illustrations, that were soft and bold; colorful with great colors and with the color white playing the important roll. It was the idea that you do not just see snow but experience it with all your senses that made me think that this was a different book. The idea of how hearing is just as important as seeing is not new but freshly presented. A great story of family and “seeing” things with your ears. The illustrations are fantastic, the connection of the grandmother and granddaughter sweet and special. It is as if Little Red Riding Hood skipped the forest, wolf and woodsman and just went to grandma’s house to bake the goodies. Everything about this book is simple but far from being simplistic. Everything quietly bursts off the page in the quietest and loudest manner one can think of. (Ages 5 to 8 might be best for the audience, but older children (8-10) could appreciate the theme. It is the format that might turn them off.)
The nice thing about the above titles is, even though they are snow, the messages can be used throughout the year. And therefore, a great treat anytime. But the perfect treat for your holiday celebrations!