Monday, December 26, 2011

Snow by PD Eastman illustrated by Roy McKie

I am in Australia and we do not have snow at Christmas but I picked this book up off my shelf today because I was feeling quite nostalgic (Christmas does that to me) and because this is a very old book I fondly remember from my childhood. First published in 1962 Snow is book number 27 in the Beginner Book series. PD Eastman wrote and illustrated quite a few of these famous books including another favorite of mine Are you my mother?

Beginner books were/are special because they are very simple to read, they rhyme and yet they also manage to tell a story often with humor which is something you average class reader could never do. I was sad to hear a teacher comment in my school the other day that a Grade 5 boy in her class had not heard Cat in the Hat and further dismayed to realize this same teacher did not immediately send up to our library for a bundle of Beginner Books – we have nearly all of them.

Reading this book today I found I remembered all the little scenes such as the snow fort, the dog sliding down the snow on his tail, the melting snow man and most importantly, the attempt by the children to save some snow in their refrigerator.

When I first read this book around age four I had not seen snow and yet the lively text and joyous illustrations gave me a good grasp of the cold and the fun.

PD Eastman met Geisel (Dr Seuss) when they were in the army together. In 1958 PD Eastman wrote his first beginner book Sam and the firefly. This is another Beginner book I loved as a child and it probably explains my fascination with fireflies (Eric Carle The Very Lonely firefly) even though we do not have these in Australia.

If you enjoy Snow you might also look for Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats which is in our library and Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. As a bonus both of these also have fabulous illustrations. For a full list of the the PD Eastman books take a look at the web site.

Snow! Snow!
Come out in the snow.
Snow! Snow!
Just look at the snow!
Come out!
Come out!
Come out in the snow.
I want to know
If you like snow.
Do you like it?
Yes or no?
Oh yes! Oh Yes!
I do like snow.
Do you like it
In your face?
I like it any place.
What is snow?
We do not know.
But snow is lots of fun
We know.
What makes it snow?
We do not know.
But snow is fun
To dig and throw.

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