Kirkus Reviews QR Code
SNOW SONG by A.K. Riley


by A.K. Riley ; illustrated by Dawn Lo

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-5253-0235-0
Publisher: Kids Can

Find new friends in a wintry wonderland.

On the title page, a young child with beige skin and short dark hair sits near cardboard boxes still unpacked. On the opening spread, readers see the same child on the building steps, presumably new to the neighborhood. Nevertheless, as the snow begins to fall and children emerge from warm homes with sleds, skates, mittens, and boots, the protagonist soon finds some buddies in a wooded wonderland surrounded by city buildings. Riley’s ebullient, poetic text—“The hills are knitted caps / Of snow”—perfectly captures the ecstatic antics of these bundled children in the “Glittery / Skittery / Tickle me! / Snow.” Then the pace shifts on the following spread, with long vowels that readers will savor and repeat, lingering on each carefully chosen word. Lo’s evocative spreads often shift visual perspective, depicting the snowy day from a bird’s-eye view as well as from amid the snowy drifts, immersing readers in the protagonist’s experience. The illustrations have an ethereal, childlike quality, using soft lines and pastel colors to depict the glittery joy. One spread in particular shows the four children—each with different skin tones and hair color and texture—close up, lying in the snow, happy to be in one another’s company. An excellent read-aloud that can also offer teachers and librarians poetic and artistic examples. (This book was reviewed digitally with 10-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at actual size.)

A moving-in story for lovers of winter that will last even after the snow has melted.

(Picture book. 3-7)