IN THE SNOW by Huy Voun Lee


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8
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 A mother-son walk through a wintry landscape teaches readers the stories behind Chinese characters that represent things they see. Xiao Ming learns that symbol for snow is created by putting the character for hand underneath the one for rain: ``Rain and snow are both forms of water, but we can hold snow in our hands,'' explains the mother. Each passage of text opens with a drawing of a Chinese character, followed by the mother's easy-to-remember words. Lee's beautiful cut-paper collages use colored paper to perceptively capture the texture of snow. The paper used to represent a skating rink is hatch-marked to resemble the scritch-scratch of skate blades. Curly fibers make a good snow-laden sky, and white paint speckles add snow to pine boughs, tree trunks, and coats. A border of white paper snowflakes encloses each picture and works as a clever link between the medium (paper) and the setting. Other books have explored the stories Chinese characters tell: Peggy Goldstein's Long is a Dragon (1991) presents a simple dictionary; Kurt Wiese's You Can Write Chinese (1945) uses stereotypes in the illustrations. Lee's book is a welcome update to these volumes, refreshingly contemporary and upbeat. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-8050-3172-3
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1995


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