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SAMSON IN THE SNOW by Philip C. Stead


by Philip C. Stead ; illustrated by Philip C. Stead

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62672-182-1
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

A depiction of deliberate acts of kindness.

Stead’s return to familiar themes of friendship and camaraderie is refreshed by the introduction of Samson, a wooly mammoth who loves his patch of dandelions but isn’t miserly with them. When a red bird (reminiscent of the title character in Stead’s Hello, My Name Is Ruby, 2013, in size if not color) requests some to give to a friend having a bad day, he gives them gladly. But as the bird flies away, Samson wistfully wonders what it’d be like to have a friend. He falls asleep and dreams of yellow, and here Stead treats readers to the first of three wordless spreads punctuating the narrative—this one a saturated, bright yellow with starburst prints of dandelion blossoms. Samson awakens to a blizzard, worries about the red bird, and goes off to find her. “It is better to walk than to worry,” he thinks as he trudges through the snow. He finds a mouse and lifts him up onto his furry back to stay warm and snug. The mouse, too, is searching for someone, who turns out to be the small red bird. Their reunion is a joyful one, complete with a gift of dandelions to the mouse, and then Samson brings them to a cave’s dry safety to wait out the storm, together.

A story warm in both palette and feeling.

(Picture book. 3-5)