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Several Stories of Snowmen to Satisfy Youngsters

By Edited Dec 12, 2013 0 0

If you're lucky enough to live someplace where the temperature regularly dips below 30 degrees F during the winter, then chances are that you have made a snowman at some point in your life. These simple snow sculptures have been most famously honored with the song Frosty the Snowman, so often heard on the radio at Christmastime, but it turns out that they make excellent subjects for storybooks as well. Below are several picture books that deal with the topic of snowmen.

The Snowman - This gorgeous picture book by Raymond Briggs is a mystical, magical reading experience. Children don't need to be able to read in order to fully enjoy the story; the book is wordless, and they can describe events as they turn each page, drinking in the ethereal illustrations. Briggs captures the illusory nature of childhood with this book that is beloved by children but perhaps even more so by adults, who better understand its melancholy underpinnings.

The basic story involves a young boy who builds a snowman and immediately feels affection for it, giving it his scarf and hat to keep warm. That night, the snowman awakes and takes the boy on a magical adventure, allowing him to see a secret world of snowmen that few humans have ever visited. At the end of their adventure, the boy returns to his bed, little knowing the bittersweet surprise that will await him in the morning. A beautiful book that inspired an equally lovely short film, also wordless except for the haunting song that plays over a portion of the movie.

Stranger in the Woods - This book created by the team of Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick, who are married, is most notable for the amazing photographs that are found throughout. Deer, rabbits, squirrels and many other different types of animals trek through the snow, leaving behind tiny paw prints, as they search for something to satisfy their appetites in the middle of winter.

The snowman in this story is not alive in any way, though he's certainly an endearing fellow, and he helps to keep several woodlanders alive. Through the mesmerizing photographs, we see as these hungry creatures nibble on his carrot nose and find other tasty treats nearby. Children can follow the instructions for a snowman that is included in the back of the book, and if they're lucky enough to live in an area where wildlife might visit, they too could end up with some memorable photographs. This book has also been made into a movie featuring plenty of chatty animals perplexed by this silent stranger in a red hat who stands smiling amidst the snow.

Snow Party - Harrier Zieffert and Mark Jones are the creative duo responsible for this book, which is similar in some ways to The Snowman. It's not as classic as Briggs' book, but it's still a fun romp. Zieffert's prose moves the story along, but Jones provides most of the magic in this story that takes a peek into a gathering of snowpeople to celebrate the winter solstice.

This is the perfect chance for them to be themselves and have as fantastic a time as possible before the weather starts to take a turn for the warmer. They engage in all sorts of fun activities, from sled riding to ice skating, all while clad in festive scarves and hats. While they don't interact with any humans, they are in league with certain seasonal creatures, particularly caribou, and they definitely seem to enjoy one another's company. A lively and imaginative book.

Spirit of the Snowpeople - Diane Keyes wrote this rather odd book illustrated by Helen Stevens. The snowpeople within don't resemble Frosty or any other typical snowman. Rather, they look like regular people, only made out of snow. Of course, this a fully fantastical story, but there are some positions they are put into that seem like they should result in the snowpeople crumbling.

Additionally, the book is very didactic, as the villagers who construct the snowpeople are extremely virtuous and spend the latter part of the book lecturing the visitors who grumble when the snowpeople begin to melt. Some children might find this portion of the book a bit tedious, though there are good lessons to be learned about kindness and generosity, as well as the cycle of the seasons.

A Snowman Named Just Bob - This book written by Mark Kimball Moulton and illustrated by Karen Hillard Crouch has a charming country flavor to it, with warm pictures that make you feel as though you are sitting inside a sprawling farmhouse, sipping cocoa as you watch the snow fall on the fields outside. Kimball is an excellent writer, and his poetic turns of phrase are made even richer in the way they complement the illustrations by becoming part of them.

The story carries with it hints of Frosty and The Snowman, but it's a family effort to bring Bob to life, and when he departs, everyone who helped to build him carries his memory within them. What's more, this is not the last that readers can see of Bob, since Moulton and Crouch collaborated on a Valentine's Day-themed sequel, A Snowgirl Named Just Sue.

Snow Friends - This adorable book aims at a young audience than Moulton and Crouch's tales. Written by M. Christina Butler and illustrated by Tina Macnaughton, who have several cute wintry books to their credit, Snow Friends tells the simple story of a young otter and bear who happen upon each other while playing out in the snow. Evidently their parents are asleep, so they stave off loneliness by building a snowman together.

The text in this book is very basic and secondary to the pictures. Some glitter on the snowball that the friends roll provides a recurring bonus throughout several pages, and a rabbit's sudden appearance partway through the story adds to the fun. An endearing book for youngsters, who may also want to read One Winter's Day, One Snowy Night and Smiley Snowman, all by Butler and Macnaughton.

Snowmen and Christmas go hand in hand in many places, so consider one of these wintry stories to wrap up and put under your Christmas tree this year.



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