Snowflakes Fallby Patricia MacLachlan, Steven Kellogg
In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can/i>… See more details below
In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow.
MacLachlan and Kellogg, who are longtime friends, were moved to collaborate on a message of hope for children and their families following the tragic events in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Kellogg lived in Sandy Hook for thirty-five years—he raised his family there and was an active member of the community. With Snowflakes Fall, they have created a truly inspiring picture book that is both a celebration of life and a tribute to the qualities that make each individual unique.
In honor of the community of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Random House, the publisher of Snowflakes Fall, has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Random House is also donating 25,000 new books to the national literacy organization First Book in the community’s honor and in support of children everywhere.
From the Hardcover edition.
PreS-Gr 3—A gentle picture book created as tribute to the victims of the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. In his dedication, Kellogg expresses his hope that this book "celebrates the laughter, the playful high spirits, and the uniqueness of the children of Sandy Hook and of children everywhere." And indeed, the image of falling snowflakes-"Flake/After flake/After flake/Each one a pattern/All its own-/No two the same-/All beautiful"-makes an affecting metaphor. MacLachlan's lyrical and understated poem describes snowflakes swirling "together/Like the voices of children" to blanket backyards and sleeping gardens, rolling countryside, and the town's familiar sites. Though a nighttime storm may bring shadows that "darken dreams," morning always comes again, revealing a shining world and the opportunity to play outdoors. In springtime, "when the flowers bloom/The children remember the snowflakes/And we remember the children-/No two the same-/All beautiful." Throughout, Kellogg's paintings dazzle with brightly clad kids joyfully romping through winter scenes. As flowers bloom, some of the youngsters dance into a still-snowy sky, and the back endpaper shows a row of 20 snow angels taking flight from a moonlit hillside and soaring into the heavens. Accentuating the rebirth found in nature's cycle, text and images depict the process of healing and renewal, the comfort of memory, and the power of hope. Adults can share this book to address tragic events, discuss grief and the recovery process, and remind children of the precious beauty of life.—Joy Fleishhacker, School Library Journal
In tribute to the lives lost in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, acclaimed author and artist MacLachlan and Kellogg collaborate on a book that celebrates “the laughter, the playful high spirits, and the uniqueness of the children of Sandy Hook and of children everywhere,” as Kellogg explains in his dedication. The text unfolds as a continuous verse, emphasizing renewal while drawing a comparison between the singularity of a snowflake and that of a child: “After the flowers are gone/ Snowflakes fall./ Flake/ After flake/ After flake/ Each one a pattern/ All its own—/ No two the same—/ All beautiful.” Rosy-cheeked children and rowdy pet dogs cavort through the snowy wonderland of Kellogg’s paintings, which give way to rainy spring scenes “Where soon/ Flowers will grow/ Again.” The most direct allusion to the tragedy comes in two scenes picturing “fields of snow angels,” a somber metaphor for the children killed. It’s a potent reminder of the ephemeral nature of childhood and of the joys contained within those fleeting years. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Oct.)
"Adults can share this book to address tragic events, discuss grief and the recovery process, and remind children of the precious beauty of life."
Starred Review, Booklist, September 1, 2013:
"This is a graceful homage to the inevitable seasons of life and remembrances of loved ones and times past. Whether or not they are familiar with loss and grief, children will feel the healing power of this hopeful, uplifting book."
Falling snowflakes highlight the beauties and joys of winter in this celebration of the uniqueness of not only every snowflake, but every child. MacLachlan's lyrical free verse is set on the pages, sometimes drifting like the flakes in a storm, sometimes stacked up like so much snow on the ground. Her language is the same, at times gently flowing, at others, a staccato list, always matching the emotion: "Snowflakes / Fall / Drift / And swirl together / Like the voices of children." Boot prints and sled tracks are not the only evidence of children in these pages, which are filled with the wonders and delights of childhood, wonderfully captured in Kellogg's detailed and perfectly colored illustrations. They wake up to new snow, find animal tracks, catch snow on their tongues, snuggle in a cozy bed, revel in the companionship of pets, and make snowmen and snow forts and snow angels. Snowy wind at night can be scary, but in the morning, the world is new again. MacLachlan ends with a simple version of the water cycle, the snow melting and filling "the chattering streams" then "[s]ending drops of water up / To fall as rain." And where there once was snow, there will be flowers, reminiscent of the snowflakes. No direct mention of the Sandy Hook shootings is made in this book dedicated to its victims; the emphasis is on life, not death. MacLachlan and Kellogg celebrate the small things, but the small things turn out to be the big things after all: the children, "No two the same-- / All beautiful." (Picture book. 4-7)
- Random House Children's Books
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Random House
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 7 MB
- Age Range:
- 3 - 7 Years
Meet the Author
PATRICIA MACLACHLAN is best known for her Newbery Medal-winning novel, Sarah, Plain and Tall. Born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, she attended the University of Connecticut and has written more than a dozen stories for children including Baby and Journey. She now lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, with her husband.
STEVEN KELLOGG has published over 100 award-winning books for children, among them The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, Johnny Appleseed, and the Pinkerton books. He studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design where he became intrigued by the picture book format. He lived in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, for 35 years with his family, where he was an active member of the community. He now lives in Essex, New York, with his wife.
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