With untouched snow outside, all a boy wants to do is to go to the park, but there is an obstacle.
While the boy gets ready, desperate to be the first child out in the snow, Granddad is reading in bed. He finally rises, but another child got there before him—and then a whole mob of them. Granddad insists on scarves and hats while putting on his own vest and tie. After all, decorum is important in this British import. While the child grows glum, bitterly remarking that even “all the cats and dogs were out there,” Granddad has the wit to observe that “the whole zoo was probably out there.” Little do they know that there is a menagerie having a snowball fight in a perfectly ordinary park. An elephant, a giraffe, and a walrus are among the participants, but the monkey and the penguin look familiar. Were they in the house? Usher uses large expanses of white space that increasingly show the traffic in the snow. His quirky ink-and-watercolor drawings are full of cavorting children and animals. A double-page spread depicting a calm elephant in a stocking hat, a girl and a frisky monkey perched on his tusks, is particularly amusing. Granddad looks wary, but he soon flings snowballs with the rest.
With toys coming to life, all the fun in the snow, and the lovely child-grandparent relationship, this is a welcome addition to the winter bookshelf. (Picture book. 3-6)