BIG SNOW by Jonathan Bean
Kirkus Star


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 6
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David tries to help his mother with Christmas housecleaning, but his mind swirls with thoughts of the big snow predicted to fall that afternoon.

The flour he measures for cookies reminds him of a snow’s initial, light dusting; soapy bubbles seem like fat flakes piling up; clean bed linens appear as white-blanketed pastures. With each association, the boy abruptly abandons his task to go “check the weather.” Children and caregivers will recognize the familiar scene—how many times have little helpers gone missing? They’ll also hear the echoes of their own conversations, of hopeful questions about a snow’s arrival and accumulation, breathlessly posed again and again. These repeated behaviors, the cycle of questions and answers and a boy’s coming and going, structure this seasonal story and capture the cozy monotony of a domestic day indoors. Sandy browns and lemony yellows make the warmth of David’s home palpable—even its smells and rhythms, almost. As the snowstorm gets bigger and bigger, readers survey its progress by noting changes on delightfully detailed double-page spreads of David’s backyard and surrounding neighborhood. Dusky pinks, cool whites and blues deliver a muted winter afternoon and evening, effectively contrasting with the glowing luminescence of twinkling windows.

Winter’s chills, rituals and resulting familial closeness, rendered in simple, surprisingly poignant drawings, make this a perennial read at first frost. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-374-30696-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2013


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