A richly illustrated and gracefully narrated version of a Russian tale, ""The Snow Maiden"": A snowbaby made by a childless woodsman comes to life and delights him and his wife all winter; then, coming too near a spring bonfire, ""Snowflake"" vanishes. Journeying to the north, the grieving couple begs Grandfather Frost to return their missing child and, moved by their love, he allows her to come back with the first snowfall. The vibrant illustrations, in shades of blue and violet with touches of gold and red, recall Russian folk art in their decorative motifs. A single panel may suggest different locations, the passage of time, or the stages of a journey; there are delicate borders--guardian angels with snowflake-framed faces in gorgeously patterned costumes, woodland details, and much more. More elaborate than Croll's The Little Snowgirl (1989), and for a slightly older audience.