An endearing little rabbitresembling a child's beloved stuffed toywakes up in his cozy underground den and, followed by his brothers and sisters, ventures forth to explore a first snowfall. The warm reddish-brown color of the bunnies provides a nice contrast to the vast whiteness of the snow-filled landscape, and varied perspectives add interest as we see some rather gigantic-seeming chipmunks up close from a bunny point of view. A bit of tension is introduced as the bunnies frolic happily in the snow, but know to hide when a gray wolf and barn owl threaten. Simple but softly-poetic text paints a dream-like winter scene as the bunnies watch children build a snowman. Plenty of white space emphasizes the snowy winter theme, and the pictures would be easy to see in a group read aloud. The snowman's carrot nose and some friendly reddish birds echo the color of the rabbits and help unify the illustrations. This charming British import will appeal to young children experiencing their own first snowfalls. 2005, Holiday House, Ages 3 to 5.
PreS-Gr 2-This appealing story looks at the arrival of a new season through the eyes of a bunny and his siblings as they venture out during the first snowfall of winter. Ford's text has a poetic rhythm that emphasizes the senses as the rabbits explore their wintry world. The book works well for both reading aloud and as a story that beginning readers will be able to tackle independently. The large text and charming visual clues will win many fans. Braun's illustrations, especially of the bouncing bunnies with their flopping ears, are particularly engaging and complement the story wonderfully. The palette consisting of blues and whites allows the animals and the snowy meadow to shine under the light of a full moon. Leave room on your shelves and in your next winter-themed storyhour for First Snow.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Attempting to convey the beauty of the natural world and a heartwarming story about a bunny's first snow, this text has set its sights too high. The sweet story of a small bunny leaping about in the snow is rather lost amid the talk of the gray wolf, chipmunks and children building a snowman. Incongruously, "It is dark-a winter night. The moon is bright, barely there behind a lazy haze of gray. . . Now bunnies race across the meadow, leaving paw prints as they go. Hopping . . . stumbling . . . rolling . . . tumbling . . . playing in the cold first snow." The illustrations follow the curious, sometimes clashing, mix of the text. Adorable drawings of the bunnies and other wild creatures follow gorgeous nature scenes suitable for framing. While the bunnies' facial expressions are rather static, their body language speaks volumes as they cavort about and enjoy the snow. An interesting combination of nature and picture book, neither of which truly shines in their competition. (Picture book. 4-8)