A snowman’s friends help him enjoy Christmas indoors in this picture book.
This latest entry in Lapid’s and Pasek’s (Halloween with Snowman Paul, 2017, etc.) snowman series is set during Christmas, which might seem like a natural fit. But the carrot-nosed Snowman Paul doesn’t see it that way. For him, Christmas is a time when everyone congregates indoors, enjoying warmth, food, and company—everyone but Paul. “If that’s called friendship, I don’t know, / Perhaps I’d rather be plain snow...!” he concludes. Hearing this, a boy—Paul’s friend and the book’s narrator—rallies his family, including the dog and cat, to come up with a solution. By drawing the fridge to the Christmas table and sitting inside, Paul can feast and join in playing games, even by the fireside. Afterward, Paul gets a special present from Santa. As with other outings in this series, Lapid writes generally effective rhyming couplets that scan well. Although the book takes for granted an audience that embraces Christmas, the atmosphere is warm, accepting, and friendly. (The family is white; the narrator has one black friend.) Rather than asking the snowman to adjust or just be left out, the family adapts to him, taking into account Paul’s special needs—a good and subtle lesson for kids. Pasek emphasizes the tale’s kindness with soft watercolor washes, and makes Paul a real character with an expressive face; his twig hair, for example, matches his mood, lying flat when he’s down.
A sweet, simple story of inclusion for kids who celebrate Christmas.