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Last Snow of Winter

Last Snow of Winter

by Tony Johnston, Friso Henstra (Illustrator)

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Gaston Pompicard's new sculpture never travels beyond his front lawn. But the children who see it will never forget it.


Gaston Pompicard's new sculpture never travels beyond his front lawn. But the children who see it will never forget it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gaston Pompicard, an artist who once worked for kings, uses the first snow of winter to sculpt likenesses of the neighborhood children. As he says, ``A sculptor for kings is a fine thing to be. But a sculptor for friends is finer.'' When the last snow falls, Gaston is confined to bed with an interminable cold; to cheer him up, the grateful children sculpt him and his dog, Louisette. Johnston's ( Yonder ; The Cowboy and the Black-Eyed Pea ) light touch and slightly eccentric characters find their complement in Henstra's dynamic, cleanly composed watercolor-and-ink illustrations, which combine scribbly lines with a sedate palette. A diverting tale about generosity of spirit. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Sculptor Gaston Pompicard celebrates the first winter storm by creating a large snow sculpture of all of the children in his neighborhood. One day, as he is recovering from a cold, he hears the sound of his young friends' laughter. He and his dog look out the window to discover that they have made a snow sculpture of him in honor of the last snow of winter. In this brief circular story, Johnston uses clipped sentences and gentle wit, both reminiscent of the Provensens' The Glorious Flight across the Channel with Louis Bleriot (Viking, 1983), and creates a story with a similar French setting. Henstra's watercolor-and-ink illustrations retain the lively, humorous quality readers enjoyed in his pictures for J. Patrick Lewis's The Tsar and the Amazing Cow (Dial, 1988) and Jay William's The Practical Princess (Parents, 1969; o.p.). Details such as the pretzel on the patisserie sign and the runny nose on the snow sculpture will please young readers. Many of them will also, no doubt, notice that while Johnston's text says Gaston dresses all in red, Henstra has given him a black beret and a beige muffler. The book might be linked with other stories set in France, such as Emily McCully's Mirette on the High Wire (Putnam, 1992), or paired with Charlotte Zolotow's Something Is Going to Happen (HarperCollins, 1988) for seasonal story hours.-Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Julie Corsaro
The writing is simple and direct in this warm story about friendship. Accompanied during the first snow of winter by his dog Louisette, an old French artist named Gaston Pompicard creates snow sculptures of the neighborhood children. During the last snow of winter, the youngsters join together to create a like-minded sculpture for the ailing artist and his dog. Rendered in moderate hues, the line-and-wash drawings by Henstra, winner of the Golden Apple at the Biennale of Illustrations in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, have an energetic quality. There's one visual flaw: the text states that all of Gaston's clothes are red, but his muffler is beige, and his beret is black.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Age Range:
4 Years

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