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THE FIRST DAY OF WINTER by Denise Fleming Kirkus Star


by Denise Fleming & illustrated by Denise Fleming

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-8050-7384-1
Publisher: Henry Holt

Fleming creatively employs the structure of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” to create a cumulative tale about the decorations for a snowman, beginning with the addition of a “red cap with a gold snap” on the first day of winter. On each subsequent day, the African-American narrator’s best friend provides something else to add to the snowman’s outfit: “2 bright blue mittens, 3 striped scarves,” and much more, right on down to “10 salty peanuts” for the snowman’s toes. Fleming uses her signature collage technique against pale gray backgrounds dotted with white snowflakes, with different animals on each page helping to add the details to the snowman. The perspectives vary until the last, wordless spread, which shows the completed snowman in a horizontal orientation that provides a satisfying conclusion. Teachers and librarians will add this volume to story times with winter or snow themes, and the clever new words to a favorite old tune might become a new winter favorite in music classrooms. (Picture book. 4-7)