The Snow Whale

Overview


One November morning, when the hills are hump-backed with snow, Laurie and Leo decide to build a snow whale. As they shovel, and pat and polish to bring the snow whale out of the hill, the whale gradually takes on a life of its own. Caroline Pitcher's tale of a brother and sister, and of the dreams their snow whale inspires, is beautifully portrayed by Jackie Morris.

The day after a big snow, Laurie and Leo build a beautiful snow whale, high as a house, round as a ...

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Overview


One November morning, when the hills are hump-backed with snow, Laurie and Leo decide to build a snow whale. As they shovel, and pat and polish to bring the snow whale out of the hill, the whale gradually takes on a life of its own. Caroline Pitcher's tale of a brother and sister, and of the dreams their snow whale inspires, is beautifully portrayed by Jackie Morris.

The day after a big snow, Laurie and Leo build a beautiful snow whale, high as a house, round as a cloud, white as an ice floe.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
It's a rare winter morning; the earth covered with that thick wet snow that begs to be shaped and shoveled by children. No snow forts and snowmen for this creative group; they sculpt an enormous whale who lasts for precious days until the sun burns too brightly. Then, melting, the snow colossus dissolves to water, running to the river and back to the ocean where she has always belonged.
Children's Literature - Wendy Keen
Laurie and Leo, her little brother, decide to build a whale of snow into the hillside. When they build, Leo asks his sister where snow comes from. "Don't you know anything?" she sighs heavily. This sets the stage for an explanation of the changing states of water, against a peaceful story of winter fun As might be expected from a Sierra Club book, each of the snow whale's parts are accurately named by Laurie. Help from their neighbors, Nick and his sister, Kate, add another reminder of the relationship between sisters and brothers. But Laurie isn't completely superior to Leo. When Leo awakens from a dream of singing whales, be finds his sister crying. "Where has the whale gone?" she sobs. Leo, with a brotherly hug, provides her with the answer. A magical tale enhanced by wistful, delicate illustrations, The Snow Whale will charm its readers.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A well-intentioned, but disappointing, attempt to provide a small amount of information on the hydrological cycle. As a brother and sister build a snow whale, the girl explains where snow comes from and where it goes when it melts. That night the whale disappears and the younger brother tells his weeping sister that it has returned to the ocean. The sweet but slight story may be confusing to literal-minded children. The sun that brings about the thaw is said to cause the snow sculpture to "glisten like silver," not specifically to melt. The accompanying illustration, in three panels, pictures water droplets, a river, and the ocean in which the gray-black tail of a real whale swims. In the final page of text, the children are seen at their window while the sister sobs, "Where has the whale gone?" Readers must deduce that the sun has caused it to melt. This process, central to the story, is not supported clearly enough by the pictures, although in the final one the white tail of a whale may be interpreted as melting into the grass or diving into the sea. This would be a novel addition to snowy-day story times if supported by nonfiction picture books such as Eleonore Schmid's The Water's Journey (North-South, 1990) and Mark Rauzon and Cynthia Bix's Water, Water Everywhere (Sierra Club, 1994).-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845077174
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/23/2014
  • Edition description: Revised Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


Caroline Pitcher's story Kevin the Blue won the Independent Story of the Year Award in 1993. Her first book for Frances Lincoln was The Snow Whale with Jackie Morris, chosen as one of Child Education's Best Books of 1996 and shortlisted for the 1997 Children's Book Award. Jackie Morris lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with children, dogs, and cats. Ever since leaving college, Bath Academy of Art, at least one cat has watched over her while she works. Big cats and small are a passion in her life, and it was while reading and watching her cat Pixie sleeping in winter that the idea for I am Cat came about. Among her many books for Frances Lincoln are The Ice Bear, The Snow Leopard, Tell me a Dragon, and How the Whale Became by Ted Hughes.
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