On a snowy, wintry night, the toys in a woodland cottage each boast that they are the most wonderful; all except a lonely snowman in a globe, long forgotten.
On this night, the snowman hears a voice singing to him, inviting him to dance. Suddenly, he is free to walk about (and has the feet to do it). From on top of the mantel, an angel on a clock tells him that his wish has been fulfilled; his globe is open—but only for one hour. Quickly, the snowman follows the music and encounters a beautiful ballerina in a pink tutu who is turning round and round. In the few minutes left before the hour expires, they dance, but then he must return to his globe. The other toys mock him as he yearns to be free and in the arms of the ballerina. Happily, the ballerina wishes to join him, and fortunately, the same angel can grant her wish. The snowman and the ballerina can now dance together in eternal bliss. Van Straaten, a Dutch author/illustrator, has borrowed freely from popular European fairy-tale motifs, but his story lacks charm and warmth. The watercolor illustrations are pleasant but not distinguished.
The magic is missing. (Picture book. 3-6)