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Posted November 21, 2006
Caldecott Winner White Snow, Bright Snow
The neighborhood along with the animals anticipates the first snow of the season. Townsmen and children stare off into the sky waiting, looking forward to the snowfall. The sky turns gray and just as no one is looking the first flake falls. The ground quickly becomes covered with a blanket of snow, ¿covering roads and hiding fences, sifting in cracks and filling up trenches¿¿. The author of this wonderfully written book is Alvin Tresselt. Tresselt grew up in Passaic, New Jersey, and worked in children¿s book publishing in New York for many years. This book is aimed toward children between the ages of five and eight. I really enjoyed this book because it shows children how snow is anticipated as well as how and why it dies out. I recommend it to anyone that loves the winter season. Tresselt, Alvin. White Snow Bright Snow. New York: William Marrow & Company, 1947.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2006
This book won the Caldecott Medal in 1948. It is based on a poem the author wrote which came to him as he was walking a street in New York City, on a snowy winter night. The book takes place in the suburbs in 1948. It focuses on the anticipation of the snowfall, the actual snowfall, the children playing and loving the snow and then the beginning of spring. In this age of FEdEX and high technology, it is fun to see a postman and policeman walking their route. The story really seems like a fairy tale. It is absolutely charming. It has endured since 1948. Your children will enjoy it, and so will you. The book has been written for ages 4-8.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2001
Suburban Perspective on Life in 1947
Snow is the center of this book. Mr. Tresselt develops how snow is anticipated, experienced, and dealt with by a postman, farmer, policeman, the policeman's wife, rabbits, and children. The book is noteworthy for its social perspectives from 1947 more than for the story. As a Caldecott Medal winner, the high point of the book comes in the Day-Glo yellow, orange, and green images that burst from the white and grey world of winter. Mr. Roger Duvoisin has created a most unusual mix of nostalgia and modernism in these images that evoke a Stuart Davis type of feeling. 'Softly, gently in the secret night, Down from the North came the quiet white.' 'Drifting, sifting, silent flight, Softly, gently, in the secret night.' These lines open the book and help create the magical mood of new-fallen snow. The postman says that it 'looked like snow.' He 'put on rubbers' to keep his feet dry. But during the storm, he 'slipped and fell in a snowbank.' The next morning, he 'took out his high boots.' When spring finally came, he walked slowly so he could 'enjoy the bright sunshine.' The farmer said it 'smelled like snow.' He 'went to the barn for a snow shovel.' With it, he 'dug a path . . . to the house.' The next day, he used the path to the barn and 'milked his cows.' In the spring, he 'let his cows out' of the barn for the first time that year. The policeman said it 'felt like snow.' He 'buttoned up his coat.' But he 'got his feet wet.' He 'had a chill and stayed in bed' the next day. When spring came, he 'walked in the park.' The policeman's wife said 'her big toe hurt.' She checked the cupboard to make 'sure she had cough mixture.' When her husband returned from work, she 'put a mustard plaster on his chest.' While he is ill, she 'knits a long woolen scarf for him.' In the spring, she digs in her garden. The children 'watched' the snow start to fall. They 'laughed and danced.' They even 'dreamed' about playing in the snow. In the spring, they 'watched for the first robin.' The rabbits 'knew' the snow was coming. They 'hid in their warm burrows' underground. During the storm they 'hopped about as best they could.' In the spring they enjoyed 'hopping about in the warm world.' Modern readers will probably be struck by the book's having a central figure be an apparently stay-at-home wife with no children in sight. That was common in 1947, and makes the book interesting from a sociological perspective. How much our ideas of sexual roles have changed since then! This story today would probably have the woman be serving as a police officer. How can you find joy in snow and the long, cold days of winter? If you live someplace warm, how can you enjoy the change of the seasons by visiting snow-filled fields? When I was a child growing up in Southern California, my father would load his pick-up truck full of snow from the mountains and dump it on our front lawn. The neighbor children and I would build snowmen and have snowball fights, until the snow melted. These were some of the happiest moments of my childhood. I still wish spring came as soon after the snow as it did then. After you read this story, I suggest that you and your child discuss how each of you perceive snow coming, how to deal with it, and your feelings about winter and spring. Then, this book can become a tool to help you communicate your feelings. I suggest that you extend the conversation then to other physical situations that you both experience, so you can enjoy each other's subjective impressions. Look for the best in every moment! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent SolutionWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2010
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