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Snowzilla

Overview

Cami Lou and her brother build the biggest, hugest, most mammoth snowman the world has ever seen. It’s Snowzilla! The snowman becomes an instant sensation, and tourists pour into the small town. But not everyone is impressed. Some say the giant snowman brings giant problems. Then a judge rules that Snowzilla must come down. Can Cami Lou and her brother save Snowzilla?

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Overview

Cami Lou and her brother build the biggest, hugest, most mammoth snowman the world has ever seen. It’s Snowzilla! The snowman becomes an instant sensation, and tourists pour into the small town. But not everyone is impressed. Some say the giant snowman brings giant problems. Then a judge rules that Snowzilla must come down. Can Cami Lou and her brother save Snowzilla?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In a chirpy story of mild civil strife, a girl named Cami Lou constructs a humungous snowman (helpfully, her parents own a snowplow and a bulldozer) that attracts thousands of visitors. When angry neighbors protest (“A lady warned everyone,/ ‘Make no mistake—/ when temperatures rise,/ he’ll turn into a lake!’”), Cami and her brother work to have the snowman relocated. Working in acrylic and colored pencil, Haley portrays a playfully lopsided town, but Lawler’s rhymes are often labored (“So Cami used e-mail and texting and blogging/ to save all their effort spent packing and slogging”) and the ending feels pat. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
After a mammoth snowstorm, Cami Lou bundles up her little brother and ventures out to build a huge snowman. As much of a sensation as the mammoth creature is, some spoilsport townspeople find her "Snowzilla" threatening and bring a lawsuit to bring the snow behemoth down. Not to worry—Cami Lou is as savvy as they are! She texts and blogs with all her relatives and friends. Eventually they manage to use all available resources to move the giant snow creature to the community gardens where it will usefully melt into moistening the land before spring planting time. This "green" message story is told in couplets that are pointedly perky as Haley's brightly colored illustrations. The idea of a super-sized snowman is sure to have some appeal; however the community action message is likely to be beyond the young children toward whom this book is targeted. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
Kirkus Reviews
Community dissension and compromise are brought down to a kid's level in this tale of a giant snowman. With a little help from their family, some equipment and Mother Nature, Cami Lou and her little brother build a huge snowman sporting a hat, scarf and arms with five mittens/gloves each. "Then Cami Lou cheered / as she stood down below. / ‘We'll call you Snowzilla! / Our giant of snow!' " People come from all around to see Snowzilla, but when the townspeople complain of blocked views, scared pets and the threat of flood, the judge rules that he must go. The modern-day girl turns to social media to save her snowman, and the next day, in an operation that could be likened to the moving of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, people turn out in droves to help hoist and move Snowzilla. But for all the hoopla, Cami Lou is not particularly sad when Snowzilla melts--she is busy planning something even bigger for next year, a disconnect that might catch readers' attention. Haley's brightly colored acrylic-and–colored-pencil artwork lends a festive feel to the text. Over-the-top patterns and styles of winter clothing, along with the hairstyles and grimaces of the sourpusses, give her characters personality. The power of a community to pull together and solve problems is definitely in evidence here, though the tale's sheer implausibility and its sometimes-stumbling rhythms may turn readers off. Ultimately like Snowzilla--fluff. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Lawler opens with this Dr. Seuss-like stanza: "It snowed without stopping/for week after week./When it ended at last,/Cami Lou took a peek." Cami Lou (whose name is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss's Cindy Lou Who) makes terrific use of a snow-packed landscape to create, with the help of her mother, father, and younger brother, the biggest snowman ever. "Thousands of people rode buses to see/the towering snowman, as tall as a tree." The burst of tourism is disrupted by petty neighbors, and the case against Snowzilla makes it all the way to court. Readers won't have much time to worry as the irrepressible Cami Lou thinks, emails, texts, blogs, and community organizes her way out of this modern dilemma. Lawler's rhymes occasionally sound contrived, but they scan beautifully. Haley's offbeat, busy, and chaotically colorful cartoon-style illustrations are a lively complement to the bouncy text.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761461883
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/2/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 505,613
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Lawler’s critically acclaimed children’s books include If Kisses Were Colors, illustrated by Alison Jay, and Tyrannoclaus, illustrated by John Shroades. Janet’s love of family, nature, and all things silly inspires much of her writing. Her family shares their home in Connecticut with a dog, a lizard, and assorted wildlife that visit the backyard. Janet enjoys presenting her books at schools and libraries. Learn more about the author: www.JanetLawler.com

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