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A SNOW DAY FOR HANNAH by Linda Petrie Bunch


by Linda Petrie Bunch

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0977778119
Publisher: Book Club Productions

A puppy goes on joyful adventures in this photo-filled rhyming picture book.

  Hannah is an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy who loves to play in the snow. After realizing that a snowstorm is coming, Hannah hurries inside—only to return outdoors to sled, build a snowman and hike through the woods once the sun has returned. The photographs, full of breathtaking scenery, are engaging, particularly those that show Hannah in action. However, the rhymes are often forced and contain challenging vocabulary for young readers: "As she headed for home / she could feel the storm coming / with her fine sense of smell, / her sight, and her cunning." Bunch gives Hannah the gift of speech, attributing observations directly to the young pup ("The air smells so clean!" / She barked right out loud), but in most instances, Hannah acts like a normal pooch. The moments she takes on human qualities are jarring, such as when she is buried up to her neck in a snow angel. Evidence of humans is clearly present, such as when Hannah walks along a paved road or perches in a human-sized chair to watch the snowfall from inside. The story would be stronger if a human appeared to create a snow angel—or "help" Hannah build a snowman—rather than anthropomorphizing the puppy. Furthermore, some of the digital editing makes Hannah and landmarks, such as a sign for a hiking trail, appear superimposed. Hannah's genuine poses and the scenery are so delightful that the editing feels unnecessary. Very young readers, however, aren’t likely to be concerned with such incongruities. Hannah is an engaging enough character that awkward moments in the narration and pressures to suspend disbelief are easily forgiven. Practiced readers struggling with the advanced vocabulary may be less satisfied.   With a cute hero and gorgeous vistas depicted in clear, bright photos, young readers will happily curl up on a parent's lap to see Hannah's antics.