When I first looked at today's book I had no idea that the story within was remarkable. I was naturally drawn to the art, which is gorgeous, and I certainly expected the story to be a beautiful winter tale. In actual fact it is a lot more than that. The minimal story is also very powerful, and it reminded me of why I do what I do.
When it snows
When it snows
For ages 5 to 7
Random House UK, 2012, 978-1-849-92140-4
It has snowed and now the cars are stuck and the train has “disappeared” under a mantel of soft whiteness. A little boy is outdoors and with his teddy bear in hand he follows the footprints in the snow. Then he gets a ride on the back of a white bear for a while. Eventually he comes to the place “where the snowmen live.” There are dozens of snowmen standing under the snow-filled clouds, many of which are being built by other children.
When the sun sinks the little boy leaves the snowmen behind as he follows a bright light that leads him to a forest. There the Queen of Poles takes the boy to a secret place where he sees all kinds of wondrous things.
Throughout this book a spare text is paired with luminous illustrations to take children on a remarkable journey. The journey itself is magical, but the way in which it ends is, if possible, is even better because we discover that the boy can go to the places we saw in the story “every day” if he wishes because he has something that makes this possible.Though this book certainly has a wintry, festive feel to it, readers will be drawn to it again and again, even when the days are long and warm.