Community dissension and compromise are brought down to a kid’s level in this tale of a giant snowman.
With a little help from their family, some equipment and Mother Nature, Cami Lou and her little brother build a huge snowman sporting a hat, scarf and arms with five mittens/gloves each. “Then Cami Lou cheered / as she stood down below. / ‘We’ll call you Snowzilla! / Our giant of snow!’ ” People come from all around to see Snowzilla, but when the townspeople complain of blocked views, scared pets and the threat of flood, the judge rules that he must go. The modern-day girl turns to social media to save her snowman, and the next day, in an operation that could be likened to the moving of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, people turn out in droves to help hoist and move Snowzilla. But for all the hoopla, Cami Lou is not particularly sad when Snowzilla melts—she is busy planning something even bigger for next year, a disconnect that might catch readers’ attention. Haley’s brightly colored acrylic-and–colored-pencil artwork lends a festive feel to the text. Over-the-top patterns and styles of winter clothing, along with the hairstyles and grimaces of the sourpusses, give her characters personality. The power of a community to pull together and solve problems is definitely in evidence here, though the tale’s sheer implausibility and its sometimes-stumbling rhythms may turn readers off.
Ultimately like Snowzilla—fluff. (Picture book. 4-7)