Kirkus Reviews QR Code
ALL YOU NEED FOR A SNOWMAN by Alice Schertle

ALL YOU NEED FOR A SNOWMAN

By Alice Schertle (Author) , Barbara Lavallee (Illustrator)

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-15-200789-X
Publisher: Silver Whistle/Harcourt

A rollicking combination of poet (Good Night, Hattie, My Dearie, My Dove, p. 345, etc.) and illustrator (The Gift, not reviewed, etc.) will have exuberant toddlers and their families following along as colorfully clad youngsters build a huge feathery snowman. Watercolor and gouache paintings use white space to the fullest advantage, as the snowman becomes larger and larger. So large that it takes a vertical doublespread for the artist to show off the finished product. Light blue, watercolor snowflakes are a background to the lively activities of the many youngsters. Perspective changes from close-ups to full scenes that work with the pace of the poetry. The placement of the text is a seamless part of the design and oftentimes is as rollicking as the picture. “Three hand-packed, / triple-stacked / balls of snow. / Hat on top, / where a hat should go— / that’s all you need / for a snowman. / EXCEPT for . . .” The last two words are at the bottom of the right-hand page and beg for it to be turned. The hatted, scarved, and booted toddlers are dwarfed beside their creation and are an integral part of the design. With the snowman finished, there is another snowstorm and the fun begins to make a snowman’s friend. One snowman sports a fanny pack and sneakers, the other wears skis and suspenders. A treat in text and pictures to be read again and again. (Picture book. 2-5)