SNOWY by Berlie Doherty


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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 A two-time Carnegie winner, acclaimed for her poetic, richly perceptive novels (Granny Was a Buffer Girl, 1988), gives a uniquely British flavor to a familiar scenario: Miss Smith asks her students to bring their pets to school; when Rachel can't produce the one she glowingly describes (``He's as big as a mountain...And he's got bells and ribbons and a swingletree. And he smells like a haystack''), her friends' laughter is incredulous. But Rachel's story is true: her family makes a living by taking people on their barge-home, pulled along the canal by their huge horse. Snowy has a job to do, and can't come to school--but Miss Smith and Rachel's parents work out a satisfying alternative: the whole class gets a ride on the barge. It's a little surprising that the children don't already know of this enticing local attraction, and the gratuitous ``mom'' jars (if ``mum'' is to be avoided, why not say ``mother''?), but never mind: Doherty enriches her simple, gracefully told story with vividly concrete description, while Bowen's luminous, full-bleed pastel illustrations draw one into the very English canal-side setting, with its low brick bridges, flat, pastoral surroundings, intriguing water-borne homes, and wonderfully observed horse. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8037-1343-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993


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