It has been snowing a lot around here since Christmas. And with the Christmas books put away for now, it seemed time to start looking at our other winter friends…..snowmen. So I’ve grabbed a couple of books and see how they might work out for reading out loud.
The first is what has become considered a classic. The Snowman – by Raymond Briggs. I was not expecting a “wordless” book, and yet apparently that is what has made it so well known over the years….. The cover is so magical, even sparkling that I was disappointed with the washed out illustrations. That aside, I can see where the idea of a book where we can tell our own story has it’s appeal, and could be used easily to launch classroom projects. It certainly has a very complete story, even without words. And the pictures and story are enjoyable. It just isn’t what maybe I had in mind when I was ready to read about snowmen.
The second one I chose is The Heart of a Snowman – by Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin. I’m not sure how well kids will stay tuned to this one. It seemed to wander around a bit in it’s tale, with an odd message about snowmen always have to melt because of their hearts we put inside when we make them. -It did have very gorgeous illustrations, and if your kids like stories a bit out of the ordinary this might be just for them!
The third one I read was Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner. I am a big fan of the original, Snowmen at Night, and though I don’t think this is quite as good, it is still a lot of fun. I love the idea of anything that we don’t know about having a secret life. I’ve often wondered what groundhogs are doing under ground while we are busy living our own lives. So though some of this is of course a bit of a stretch, it is fun to get our imaginations rolling with what it is exactly snowmen might be doing at night, even if they have jobs. I always love books with hidden things in the pictures. (aahemmm…like Matches the Mouse in our Christmas book). See the book! So they certainly get some bonus points from me for making it not only fun to read out loud, but then an activity book that keeps kids entertained for awhile.