Stella's little brother Sam has never seen snow. Going out together into a snowfall, they make a giant snowman, go skating, and build a fort. Stella does, that is. Sam is too busy asking zillions of questions. Where do snowmen sleep, where does snow go in the summer, and how many snowflakes are there in a snowball? These are pretty smart questions! But there is an underlying feeling that little Sam is kind of anxious. While there are so many ways to have fun in the snow, the first time out in it can be overwhelming for small children, and this book mirrors both the glee and the enormity of it all with sensitivity. Apparently Stella's answers calm him down. At the end of the day, Sam assures his sister that he can hear the snow angels sing, bringing the book to a satisfying close. The author's illustrations are simple and colorful, and the text has a pleasing cadence, making it a good readaloud. It's easy to understand why this Canadian author is so popular. 2000, Groundwood Books/Douglas & McIntyre Ltd, Ages 2 to 5, $15.95. Reviewer: Nancy Partridge
PreS-K-Stella and her little brother, Sam, first introduced in Stella, Star of the Sea (Groundwood, 1999) return in a new adventure as Sam experiences his first snowstorm. As in the prior book, he is timid and plies his exuberant sister with myriad questions about what snowmen eat, how many snowflakes are in a snowball, etc. Stella's answers are an amusing combination of fact and fancy as she gently urges her brother to shed his fears and share her delight in the day. This is a charming story of successful sibling mentoring, simply but effectively told. Gay's line-and-watercolor illustrations flow across double-page spreads and complement both the humor and the message of the tale.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.