Books by Arthur Ransome

Released: Nov. 1, 2005

Ransome's haunting wintertime story first appeared in Old Peter's Russian Tales (1916). Here, the storytelling is more timeless, less quirky and conversational. A childless old Russian couple longs for a daughter, so they build a girl out of snow: " ‘Won't you run about like the others, little white pigeon?' cried the old woman." The snow girl does indeed come to life, singing a merry song that bears a warning: "But whenever I do know / That you love me little, then / I shall melt away again." The family is happy until one day when Little Daughter gets lost in the woods. She's rescued by a fox, but when he demands a plump hen in exchange for the girl, the old couple tries to outfox the fox with a rather mean trick. Disappointed that she's not worth even a hen to her new-found parents, Little Daughter makes good on her promise and disappears forever. Bower's canvas-textured, stylized, folk art-style illustrations add color, humor and playfulness to this engaging, though morally muddled tale of love found and lost. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >