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A shy snowman and a curious rabbit weather a friendship through the seasons.

Soft watercolor illustrations and hand-lettered text tell the story of a snowman built and left in the woods. Wondering if his child-creators abandoned him because of his skinny arms, crooked smile or holey scarf, the snowman is discovered by an inquisitive rabbit. After introductions, they become fast friends. They talk about the snow and the sun, the stars and birds–until, of course, spring arrives. When the snowman disappears, the rabbit wonders if he did something wrong, or if his ears were too big or his nose too small. Unfortunately, the tale never addresses these great questions of insecurity, to which most children could relate. Instead, the story follows the rabbit through the seasons–frolicking and eating through the spring and summer, wondering where the flowers and animals disappear to in the autumn–until the first snowfall and the magical reappearance of the snowman. Reunited, they pick up their conversation where they had left off, friends once more. The measured cadence of long, leisurely sentences sets a relaxing tone, although young children may lose interest at times when listening to the wordier descriptions. A soothing pastel color palette complements the simple pen and ink with watercolor illustrations, some more skilled than others. Details from larger illustrations become charming border treatments that set off text, usually spoken and unspoken dialogue. While the book is light on facts and the story behind the development of the friendship between the snowman and the rabbit, the book is a gentle, if not compelling, preschool read. Discussion about what it means to be a good friend, as well as an opportunity to point out seasonal differences, arise naturally from the tale.

A pleasant story with pretty illustrations.

Pub Date: June 19th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-419-65625-5
Program: Kirkus Indie
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