Snow Sounds: An Onomatopoeic Story

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Sweep, crunch, swoosh, scrape . . . All night long, snow falls silently, bringing forth a world blanketed in white—and a very noisy day.
For at dawn’s light, machine, man, and child begin to dig out: first the big highway grader and snowplow, then the smaller town plow, a father’s snow blower, and a boy’s shovel . . . But will the streets get cleared in time?

Spare poetry and elegant watercolor paintings ...

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Overview


Sweep, crunch, swoosh, scrape . . . All night long, snow falls silently, bringing forth a world blanketed in white—and a very noisy day.
For at dawn’s light, machine, man, and child begin to dig out: first the big highway grader and snowplow, then the smaller town plow, a father’s snow blower, and a boy’s shovel . . . But will the streets get cleared in time?

Spare poetry and elegant watercolor paintings cleverly bring to life this unique story of snow removal and the fun onomatopoeic sounds accompanying it.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The youngest children will delight in the simplicity and familiarity of the story, while older children will be fascinated by the use of onomatopoeia...A wonderful introduction to the world of poetic language." Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Children's Literature - Greg M. Romaneck
A steady snow has fallen all through the night. Early in the morning, before the sun rises, a snowplow drives its way through the drifts along the state highway. Then, a little later, a smaller plow cuts through the snowfall along the county road. A boy lies in his bed and listens to his father break out the snow blower and clear the driveway. Roused from his sleep, the little boy bundles up and shovels the sidewalk. Finally, the sound of a school bus can be heard as it arrives in time to take the lad off to school. All of these elements are presented in this picture book. Using only onomatopoeic sounds as dialogue, David A. Johnson traces this simple event. Combining this sparse text with lovely original watercolor illustrations, Johnson has crafted a touching story drawn from an everyday winter happening. Young children will enjoy the sounds and substance of this touching little book.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-One way to describe this offering is to call it a wordless story with a soundtrack. Johnson switches between interior and exterior scenes to create a visual narrative: a youngster rises and gets dressed; a snowplow clears the road to his rural house; the boy shovels the walk while his father cleans the driveway; the school bus arrives; his mother rushes out with a forgotten present; the smiling child sits onboard anticipating a holiday celebration. Full-bleed watercolor spreads capture the light of a wintry morning perfectly: a deep gray-blue predominates, shot through with a translucent mottled white and accented with small focused patches of vibrant color-a yawning mouth, the date (December 23) circled on a calendar, the gift wrapped in red paper. Descriptive words accompany the artwork, from the boy's quiet "Snore" and the predawn "hush," to the snowplow's "Crash Crush Clank" and the bus's "Jingly Clink." This accomplished offering has a variety of uses and will appeal to a wide age range: younger children will enjoy the action, while those with more developed narrative skills will comb through the pages to create and re-create the story. Although the book's complete aesthetic delight might best be appreciated by children from snowy climes, most libraries will value this unique and intriguing title.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's December 23, and a young boy is sleeping. Next to his bed is a special present. Outside his house, through the hush of an icy, blue morning, something is happening: Snow is falling! As the boy awakens, a snowplow moves by his house, clearing the way for the boy to go to school and making evocative sounds-swooshes and crashes and beeps. There are sounds inside the warm, golden-hued house too-crinkles and flushes, crackles and meows. The boy does some shoveling, making noises similar to that of the plow, and then with a honk, the bus arrives. It's time to go to school, but not without his present-a toy snowplow. Beautifully rendered ink-and-watercolor illustrations with an alternating pallet perfectly capture the shimmering snow and the house's cozy interior. The youngest children will delight in the simplicity and familiarity of the story, while older children will be fascinated by the use of onomatopoeia (a handy definition appears on the back of the book). A wonderful introduction to the world of poetic language. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618473106
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/25/2006
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author


David A. Johnson is the talented illustrator of several children’s books. His illustrations have also appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and the Atlantic Monthly. He lives in snowy eastern Connecticut with illustrator Barbara McClintock.
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