Big Snowby Jonathan Bean
While "helping" his mother with holiday housecleaning, a boy keeps a watchful eye on the progress of a winter storm. He's hoping for a big snow. A really big snow. Inside, he is underfoot, turning sheet-changing and tub-scrubbing into imaginary whiteouts. Outside, flakes are flying. But over the course of a long day (for Mom) the clouds seem slow on/i>
While "helping" his mother with holiday housecleaning, a boy keeps a watchful eye on the progress of a winter storm. He's hoping for a big snow. A really big snow. Inside, he is underfoot, turning sheet-changing and tub-scrubbing into imaginary whiteouts. Outside, flakes are flying. But over the course of a long day (for Mom) the clouds seem slow on delivering a serious snowfall. Then comes a dreamy naptime adventure, marking just the beginning of high hopes coming true in this irresistible seasonal story.
“This delightful picture book charts a child's excitement over the imminent arrival of a snowstorm. . . This wonderful tale begs to be read aloud.” School Library Journal
“*Terrific . . . [Bean's] subtly rhythmic prose and elegant, astute watercolors hit just the right notes of comedy, suspense, and fantasy.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“*Winter's chills, rituals and resulting familial closeness, rendered in simple, surprisingly poignant drawings, make this a perennial read at first frost.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Bean uses soft pastels to depict a warm kitchen, loving parents, and a yellow cat, whose presence can be spied on every page.” BCCB
“Bean's superbly patterned text builds anticipation, and his pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations make clear links between what is going on in David's imagination and what is happening out in the real world. The warm illustrations showing brown-skinned David's cozy home provide a nice contrast to the occasional wordless double-page spread showing the outdoors, with an ever-increasing amount of snow. Young readers are sure to identify with David's longing and excitement.” The Horn Book
“The turn of the season often elicits from children the first wistful conversations about snow: When will it come? How much will there be? These are the questions that consume a preschooler in Jonathan Bean's quietly lovely Big Snow. Trailing his mother about the house as she cooks and cleans, ‘helping' her so enthusiastically that he doubles the work, little David wonders about the weather. As flakes begin to cover the streets, and David's excitement grows, we alternate between snug indoor scenes and the sight of the child's neighborhood disappearing--at last!--beneath a heavy blanket of white. A glimpse of the end of autumn, if not quite yet.” The Wall Street Journal
PreS-Gr 1—This delightful picture book charts a child's excitement over the imminent arrival of a snowstorm. Readers first see David standing in his yard, staring anxiously at the sky. There's no snow yet, but the youngster waits bundled in coat, scarf, and hat with his red sled in tow. Inside the house, his mom peers at him through the curtains. She attempts to distract him with chores: cookie baking, bathroom cleaning, changing sheets in the guest bedroom. Each task, however, holds his attention for just a few minutes, then: "the flour, white and fine, made David think of snow." The suds and new sheets evoke a similar response, and, each time, David dashes out to check the weather. Mom patiently suggests David eat lunch and take a nap. He dreams that the storm piles drifts throughout the house as he and his mother struggle to push them back outside. Bean's storytelling builds a delicious contrast between the cozy indoor scenes and neighborhood panoramas that depict the storm's arrival. These parallel David's emotions: impatience, excitement, and wonder. Bean's well-executed illustrations capture the tenderness of David's family, and add appealing details, such as the cat that wanders in and out. David is a worthy, small-town successor to Peter from Ezra Jack Keats's classic The Snowy Day. This wonderful tale begs to be read aloud.—Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
David tries to help his mother with Christmas housecleaning, but his mind swirls with thoughts of the big snow predicted to fall that afternoon. The flour he measures for cookies reminds him of a snow's initial, light dusting; soapy bubbles seem like fat flakes piling up; clean bed linens appear as white-blanketed pastures. With each association, the boy abruptly abandons his task to go "check the weather." Children and caregivers will recognize the familiar scene--how many times have little helpers gone missing? They'll also hear the echoes of their own conversations, of hopeful questions about a snow's arrival and accumulation, breathlessly posed again and again. These repeated behaviors, the cycle of questions and answers and a boy's coming and going, structure this seasonal story and capture the cozy monotony of a domestic day indoors. Sandy browns and lemony yellows make the warmth of David's home palpable--even its smells and rhythms, almost. As the snowstorm gets bigger and bigger, readers survey its progress by noting changes on delightfully detailed double-page spreads of David's backyard and surrounding neighborhood. Dusky pinks, cool whites and blues deliver a muted winter afternoon and evening, effectively contrasting with the glowing luminescence of twinkling windows. Winter's chills, rituals and resulting familial closeness, rendered in simple, surprisingly poignant drawings, make this a perennial read at first frost. (Picture book. 2-6)
Meet the Author
Jonathan Bean received an M.F.A. from New York's School of Visual Arts and now lives and works in Pennsylvania. His first book, At Night, won a 2008 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and his latest book, Building Our House, was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. Jonathan is also the illustrator of two acclaimed picture books by Lauren Thompson, The Apple Pie That Papa Baked and One Starry Night.
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My grandchildren love this book. The artwork is wonderful.