Heart of a Snowman
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Heart of a Snowman

4.6 6
by Mary Kuryla, Eugene Yelchin
     
 

Very Christmas Eve, a boy named Owen builds the very best snowman he can, only to see it melt away on Christmas Day. There must be a way to make it last, he thinks.

So begins an adventure that leads Owen to a magical place where curious animals study his snowman piece by piece in an attempt to remake a perfect snowman. But in the end, it is Owen who

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Overview

Very Christmas Eve, a boy named Owen builds the very best snowman he can, only to see it melt away on Christmas Day. There must be a way to make it last, he thinks.

So begins an adventure that leads Owen to a magical place where curious animals study his snowman piece by piece in an attempt to remake a perfect snowman. But in the end, it is Owen who supplies the one thing they need the most. Have they finally found the secret to making a snowman that will last forever?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
On Christmas Eve, a boy named Owen wonders how to keep his snowman from melting; when a mysterious vessel beams up his snowman, he grabs hold. They're taken to a factory where snowmen are confiscated and disassembled for research purposes: rabbits oversee a snowman-dissecting machine, carrot noses are eaten, scarves shredded and a polar bear picks apart snowflakes with tweezers. In the end, Owen learns “[w]hen a boy makes a snowman, he gives it a heart,” and that's why snowmen really melt. Though kids may have as much difficulty as Owen does figuring out exactly what's going on, they will grasp the bittersweet message. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3–Every Christmas Eve, Owen builds a snowman that melts on Christmas Day. This year, after he goes to bed, he and his snowman are transported by a space vessel to a factory where talking animals remake the snowman in a perfect frozen environment. When Owen is asked to put a snowball heart in its chest, this snowman melts too. The animals then discover that “When a boy makes a snowman, he gives it a heart, it gets so warm inside, the snowman can’t last.” The animals and Owen realize that the only place a snowman would last forever is in a boy’s heart. Yelchin’s imaginative, dreamlike, and somewhat surreal paintings cannot save this lengthy, ambiguous tale with a contrived message. There is no clear transition in the illustrations or text from reality to the fantasy and back, causing confusion. The intended audience is also unclear, because the basic idea of the story seems to be for very young children, but too much of it is implied rather than explained, and will only be understandable to older children or adults.–Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A little boy learns why snowmen always melt in this out-of-control surreal adventure. From a promising opening-"Owen knew that at the heart of a snowman is a perfect snowball. To make a perfect snowball, you need the powdery kind of snow that's a bit melty"-the text spirals into a dream-trip to a snowman factory to which Owen is kidnapped. There he sees a series of animals unmaking his snowman under the direction of an unseen totalitarian voice that booms from a loudspeaker. Owen, they think, has the secret to making a perfect snowman, but when they realize it's because the perfect snowball he contributes as its heart melts it from the inside, they give up. Yelchin's visuals are interesting, if occasionally disorienting, but they cannot save this story from melting as thoroughly as any snowman. (Picture book. 5-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061259265
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/22/2009
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
312,767
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin stay at home to make picture books for children. All day long Mary writes in her writing studio and Eugene paints in his painting studio. Then they drink tea with honey in their garden. They talk about their sons, Isaac and Ezra, and they talk about books. And this makes them feel cozy and safe. But sometimes they have to leave their house and meet new people. And this is when they often feel like Emma in this book. Mary and Eugene live and work in California.

Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin stay at home to make picture books for children. All day long Mary writes in her writing studio and Eugene paints in his painting studio. Then they drink tea with honey in their garden. They talk about their sons, Isaac and Ezra, and they talk about books. And this makes them feel cozy and safe. But sometimes they have to leave their house and meet new people. And this is when they often feel like Emma in this book. Mary and Eugene live and work in California.

Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin stay at home to make picture books for children. All day long Mary writes in her writing studio and Eugene paints in his painting studio. Then they drink tea with honey in their garden. They talk about their sons, Isaac and Ezra, and they talk about books. And this makes them feel cozy and safe. But sometimes they have to leave their house and meet new people. And this is when they often feel like Emma in this book. Mary and Eugene live and work in California.

Mary Kuryla and Eugene Yelchin stay at home to make picture books for children. All day long Mary writes in her writing studio and Eugene paints in his painting studio. Then they drink tea with honey in their garden. They talk about their sons, Isaac and Ezra, and they talk about books. And this makes them feel cozy and safe. But sometimes they have to leave their house and meet new people. And this is when they often feel like Emma in this book. Mary and Eugene live and work in California.

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Heart of a Snowman 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Finally a holiday book that challenges traditional metaphor. Exquisite drawings seduce the reader's senses while the unique story invites the reader into a world that is magically unsettling yet whimsical and heart-warming at the same time. I highly recommend this holiday book for its perspective on the Christmas spirit. Hope to see more from this duo.
cookiepolly More than 1 year ago
I have always been fascinated with snowmen. Living in New York we couldn't wait for winter and snow to be off from school and build our first snowman of the year. I saw this book on a different website and the story caught my interest. I read a few pages on barnes and noble website and immediately ordered the book for my twin nephews. They just loved it as I did. It is a heart-warming story. It is a story for every season of the year.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Every Christmas Eve, Owen builds the best snowman that he can. He knows that the at the heart of a snowman is a perfect snowball. And Owen is an expert on making snowballs (none of that slushy snow--good snowballs need powdery snow that's a bit melty.) But no matter how perfect he makes it, the snowman always melts the next day on Christmas. Owen is certain there has to be a way to help his snowman last longer. So, on Christmas Eve night, when a mysterious vessel abducts his snowman, Owen decides to follow in Heart of a Snowman (Sept. 2009) by Mary Kurlya and Eugene Yelchin. What he finds is an immaculate factory where animals tear snowmen down to their snowflake components to make them like new--to make the perfect snowman. What the animals don't realize is that the heart of a perfect snowman is the reason it can never last. Heart of a Snowman is a weird book. The factory is clinical and, during the snowman disassembly phase, a bit frightening. On my first reading the book seemed a bit strange and I wondered at the story. But after re-reading it I feel more supportive. The audience for this book is narrow. With the Christmas aspect you'd have to be careful to balance it out to keep a storytime secular. Also, being a city child myself, I don't know how universal the experience of building a snowman really is--I know I never built one. On the other hand, keeping those caveats in mind, Heart of a Snowman does have a certain charm. The story, while strange, is endearing. And the illustrations are nothing short of remarkable. Definitely worth a look.
nmdreads More than 1 year ago
My two sons love this book. It appeals to the spirit of adventure in boys but has a wonderful message about needing the love of a boy to hold a snowman together. The illustrations are so vibrant as well. Fun book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago