Snow

Snow

3.5 13
by Uri Shulevitz
     
 

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Like most creative artists who are also critics, Shulevitz displays time and again in his own work the criteria that are the foundation of his critical theories. Snow is no exception. Through a minimalist text and carefully composed illustrations, it demonstrates his belief that the true picture book, with its inevitable melding of words and art, is a distinctSee more details below

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Overview

Like most creative artists who are also critics, Shulevitz displays time and again in his own work the criteria that are the foundation of his critical theories. Snow is no exception. Through a minimalist text and carefully composed illustrations, it demonstrates his belief that the true picture book, with its inevitable melding of words and art, is a distinct genre. The premise is as simple as it is universal (at least in cold climates): the transforming power of a snowstorm. The setting is a dour, gray little town suggesting an Eastern European locale of old-except for television and radio. Neither of the latter is particularly prescient when it comes to predicting weather, for "snowflakes don't listen to radio, / snowflakes don't watch television." Only a hopeful small boy recognizes the first snowflake as a harbinger of the wonder to come. Nor is he discouraged as one adult after another tries to disabuse him. With each turn of the page, marvels occur that are presented only in the illustrations: the rooftops gradually whiten; the village becomes an enchanted landscape; nursery rhyme characters emerge from their niches in the Mother Goose bookstore, joining the small boy in a joyous winter ballet. As in Shulevitz's Dawn, the changes are gradual and logical—not quite as dramatic, perhaps, but nonetheless satisfying, with a touch of the fantastic. The palette is appropriately subdued, depending in the concluding pages upon the contrast between a freshly blue sky and snow-covered buildings rather than brilliant colors for effect.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pure enchantment from start to finish. Shulevitz uses text as spare as a December landscape to cast a spell of winter magic [and] works a bit of visual alchemy as the tale progresses." —Starred, Publishers Weekly

"Outstanding . . . filled with humorous touches . . . Youngsters will joyfully join the boy in his winter-welcoming dance." —Starred, School Library Journal

People Magazine
A snowfall defies the grown-ups, who insist it won't last, and blankets a small boy's town in splendor.
...[A] gem — not to be missed.
Publishers Weekly
"This sparely worded, amply imagined story captures all the eagerness children feel about a snowfall," said our Best Books citation. "Prankish art begins as gray watercolor washes, with flecks of snow gradually changing a cityscape into a frozen fairyland." Ages 3-up. (Oct) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this companion to Dawn and Rain Rain Rivers, Shulevitz uses text as spare as a December landscape to cast a spell of winter magic. Despite predictions to the contrary ("`No snow,' said radio"; "`It'll melt,' said woman with umbrella"), a boy and his dog spy a single snowflake and rush outside in gleeful anticipation. Sure enough, one snowflake turns into two, two into three, and before long snow is "dancing, playing,/ there, and there,/ floating, floating through the air." In a lovely fantasy sequence that hints at the wonder children find in snowfall, a trio of Mother Goose characters climb down from a bookshop window to join the boy and his dog as they frolic through the city streets. A 1999 Caldecott Medal honor book winner, Shulevitz works a bit of visual alchemy as the tale progresses, gradually transforming the chilly gray watercolor washes with flecks of snow, until his cityscape is a frozen fairyland. Pure enchantment from start to finish. Ages 3-up.
Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
A boy and his dog look out the window at the gray city and are delighted to see one snowflake. "It's snowing," proclaims the boy. Nobody else believes the snow will accumulate. Grandfather, with his long dark beard and wire-rimmed glasses, looks very wise as he declares that "It's only a snowflake." A man with a tall hat and long overcoat decides the snow is nothing and a woman, marching along the street under an umbrella, expects the snow will melt. Even the radio and the television say, "No snow." The flakes dance and twirl in the air and then begin to stick. The snow falls and accumulates until the once drab city is transformed. The simple, lyrical phrasing has a faintly foreign flavor and the illustrations by the Caldecott winner capture the joy to be experienced in the first snowfall of the year.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-The skies are leaden over a Russian town, then one flake falls. Then another. Snow isn't predicted, but a young boy delights in the possibilities as his elders react with more skepticism. Uri Shulevitz beautifully captures the inner joy of a snowfall in this Caldecott Honor book (FS&G, 1998). Gentle background music increases the suspense as George Guidall reads the story with the perfect accent and expression. Shulevitz's gentle, yet detailed illustrations are scanned iconographically, and the close scrutiny makes it easier to appreciate their deceptive simplicity. This story allows viewers to feel again the childlike wonder that a good snowfall can bring. The audiocassette is clear and crisp, including the same music and narration as the video. The video treats an exceptional book with care and quality, creating an experience that all viewers will enjoy.-Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Journal Starred, School Library
Finally, another of Sandburg's Rootabaga Stories has been made into a picture book— and a fine one.
Betsy Groban
...[A] picture book that young children in all climates are likely to relish. -- The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374468620
Publisher:
Square Fish
Publication date:
10/06/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
271,683
Product dimensions:
9.97(w) x 8.93(h) x 0.09(d)
Lexile:
220L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Uri Shulevitz is the author and/or illustrator of many books, including The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship by Arthur Ransome, a Caldecott Medal Book, and The Treasure, a Caldecott Honor Book. He lives in New York City.

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