The Snowman's Path

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One moonlit night Nathan hears the snowman singing. A little afraid, but fascinated, Nathan steps out of the shadows and offers him a cookie. And a miraculous friendship begins . . .

Raúl Colón's dazzling paintings pull readers instantly into the wondrous world of Helena Clare Pittman's captivating fantasy.

Helena Clare Pittman's children's books include The Angel Tree, ...
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Overview

One moonlit night Nathan hears the snowman singing. A little afraid, but fascinated, Nathan steps out of the shadows and offers him a cookie. And a miraculous friendship begins . . .

Raúl Colón's dazzling paintings pull readers instantly into the wondrous world of Helena Clare Pittman's captivating fantasy.

Helena Clare Pittman's children's books include The Angel Tree, which Booklist called an "enchanting holiday story." Raúl Colón has illustrated numerous books, among them My Mama Had a Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year.

After following a magical snowman on his nightly rounds, Nathan makes friends with him and discovers a way to make him happy before the snowman must leave.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The alley behind Nathan's house seems to be "a place where something magic could happen," and "one winter something did." Pittman's (The Angel Tree) second winter fantasy of a friendship between a boy and a snowman is stunningly imagined by Col n (My Mama Had a Dancing Heart) in full-page and panel illustrations that possess the energy and narrative quality of an animated film. Cross-hatched etchings and scraped lines lend depth to the watercolor and pencil pictures, and Col n's creamy palette casts an amber glow of nostalgia over the slow-starting story. Nathan spends several nights observing the mysterious snowman's antics. One night, he offers the fellow some cookies, and the snowman rewards the boy with his life story and his friendship. Nathan, realizing the snowman will soon be moving north, decides to make him a mate so he won't be lonely. Col n characterizes the frosty fellow as a 1940s film star in a suave fedora, romancing his unexpected lady love until spring, when the couple must part for colder climes. Although the fanciful story is a bit thin, and the sentimental substance perhaps more appealing to adults than children, Col n's imaginative illustrations create a wintry, dreamlike atmosphere. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Nathan lives in a home with an alley out back, an alley that seems ripe for something magical to happen. He keeps sensing something near, until finally he sees the snowman that has been leaving frosted footprints in the snow. Nathan and the snowman share many cold, midnight conversations, which lead to the growth of a warm friendship. The boy cannot help but sense the snowman's loneliness. Finally it is time for the snowman to move north to follow the cold weather. Nathan gives his friend a final gift, and wistfully says goodbye. Textured paintings add to the magic of the story. 2000, Dial/Penguin Putnam, $15.99. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Dr. Judy Rowen
School Library Journal
K Up-A boy's story of a snowman come to life occurs in a surreal nighttime world with no other inhabitants save an unobtrusive cat. Nathan fantasizes about footprints he had made in wet cement, and thinks that maybe they were left by a snowman. Later that night, he does spot a snowman and follows him. Though the snowman laughs and chuckles, he is described as a melancholy figure. Built of the traditional three snowballs, he is handsomely depicted with snowy arms and hands and legs, and feet shod in rubber boots. A hat, scarf, umbrella, and carpetbag complete his outfit as he travels north to stay cold. Col-n's characteristic use of thick layers of paint, scratched and etched for a textured, printlike effect, often results in softened forms. Here, however, the snowman seems hard-edged-more plaster than fluffy snow. The ocher color scheme gives an otherworldly glow to the nightly chats in which Nathan and his new friend share food and drink and swap life stories. Nathan's response to the snowman's sadness is to build him a snow woman, who soon becomes the object of his affections. Having made the match, Nathan loses his snowy companion as the new couple departs to move ahead of the coming spring. The boy then becomes the melancholy figure. The snowy romance is a sweet courtship, but the detached tone of Nathan's narrative suggests nocturnal longings most likely to appeal to adolescent and adult sentiments.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An air of magical realism hangs about this childhood fantasy strongly echoed in Colón's combed, goldentoned winter scenes. The footprints that young Nathan leaves in newly poured concrete behind his house look in frosty moonlight as if they might have been left by a snowman. A snowman such as the one Nathan spies from his bedroom window, moving from roof to fence top, wandering down the alleys between houses, gazing wistfully at the moon, singing quiet duets with the wind. Soon Nathan is down in the alley too, in bathrobe and slippers, sharing cookies and dreams with his new friend, dubbed "Sky." Seeing Sky's loneliness, Nathan builds a snowwoman, then watches as the two share dances and laughter, and finally fly off together northward, following the cold weather. Glowing greenly beneath the winter moon, Nathan's carrotnosed companion, clad in boots, fedora, and long, trailing scarf, seems at once mysterious, and as solidly real as the briefly animated visitor in Raymond Briggs's Snowman (1978). Pittman (Angel Tree, 1998) gives her young narrator a matteroffact tone that enhances the episode's poignancy. Readers will wish they too lived along that alley. (Picture book. 810)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803721708
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.88 (w) x 11.25 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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