Let It Snow! The Wonderful White Stuff in Picture Books

BookendsLynn: We live in lake-effect snow country so we’re used to large amounts of the white stuff. This winter has brought these same amounts of snow to places that don’t usually measure it in feet and they are not enjoying it. I will admit to liking snow if I don’t have to drive very far in it, but there is no doubt that kids everywhere love snow! They also love books about snow. Even if you are weary of it, we guarantee you will get excited about these wonderful new snow-related picture books.

blizzardJohn Rocco’s wonderful Blizzard (2014) is based on a childhood experience with a major blizzard. His lens is warm and nostalgic, but at the same time it is clear that after four days of snow piled to the second floor and no plows, the situation has turned serious. The boy in the story reads his trusty Arctic survival book, converts tennis rackets into snowshoes, and sets off to re-supply the neighborhood. Rocco’s illustrations would turn the most ardent snow-hater into a fan and kids will love tracing young John’s journey through the drifts.

In Peter McCarty’s First Snow (2015), Pedro comes from somewhere far away to visit his cousins. When it starts to snow, Pedro is not impressed. He doesn’t think he will like snow at all because it is cold first snowand he does NOT like cold. Everyone does their best to convince him, but still Pedro cannot be won over. It takes a wild first sled ride to give Pedro a reason to love winter. McCarty’s adorable animal characters are wonderfully textured and clad in pastel shades that stand out on the warm cream and spacious pages. Young snow bunnies will love Pedro’s transformation.

Earmuffs for EveryoneCindy: Chicago’s ALA Midwinter meeting had plenty of snow and the publishers were facing it as best they could by displaying thematic snow books in their booths. Along with the two Lynn writes about was Earmuffs for Everyone (2015), and she recently put on her snow shoes and trekked to the public library to find it.

Farmington, Maine holds a parade every December for Chester Greenwood Day to celebrate his earmuff invention. Was he the inventor? The story seems muddled, but Meghan McCarthy digs in and attempts to sift fact from legend. Along the way young readers will learn about patents and the process of invention and the reliability of sources.

I’m growing fond of author’s notes in teen nonfiction that explain the research process, but I’m clapping my cold hands to find it included in the back matter of this book for younger readers. McCarthy not only tells her brainstorming and research process, but also compares her sources from introductory articles on About.com to the Washington Post to the original research she did. Very … cool! The cartoonish illustrations add some wintry whimsy to the mix and are the perfect touch. Get your copy now so you are ready for Earmuff Day on March 13th, the anniversary of Greenwood’s patent.

Stay warm, everyone!

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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