Perfect Snow — Perfect Picture Book Friday

9780807564929_p0_v1_s260x420Title: Perfect Snow

Author/Illustrator: Barbara Reid

Publisher: Toronto, ON: North Winds Press (Scholastic), 2009.

Genre: Picture book, Fiction


Audience Age: 4-8

Themes/topics: Snow, cooperation

Opening Sentences: It came in the night. “Perfect!” said Scott. “SNOW!” said Jim.

Synopsis: Both Scott and Jim can hardly wait to get out in the snow. There’s still school, but that’s okay, they’re eager for recess. Scott has plans to create incredible snowmen. Jim can hardly wait to start building his “totally massive, indestructible Snow Fortress of Doom.”

At recess, the schoolyard is crowded with kids enjoying the snow. Scott’s snowmen don’t turn out the way he had hoped. Jim’s fort is not nearly as big as he wanted it to be.

At lunchtime, Scott and Jim get together. Soon they have all the kids involved in creating…

I’m not going to give it away, but I will tell you that after lunch, “the whole school smelled like wet boots.”

The author/illustrator, Canadian Barbara Reid, is renowned for her Plasticine illustrations. (Plasticine is a brand of modeling clay. Reid tells about it on her website, here.) Uncharacteristically, but to great effect, in this book she uses not only her trademark plasticine illustrations, but also pen and ink or watercolor illustration panels, similar to the format of a comic strip. These drawings further each boy’s story, often in parallel.

Activities/Resources: You can see the book trailer for Perfect Snow on Reid’s website.

In this video on Scholastic Canada’s website, Barbara Reid talks about developing this book, about the little guy (Scott) and the big guy (Jim) and how they react to things, and also about her art process.

Where kids have access to snow, there is no end to the fun they can have just out there playing. Building snowmen or forts, or other creative creatures (I once saw a Great Dane made out of snow, after a big snowfall.)

If there’s no snow, or if it’s just too cold and windy to be outside, as it has been often this winter where I live, bring the snow indoors – but not literally! Hands On As We Grow, a website with crafts, activities, and parenting tips, offers 32 snow-themed activities.

Availability: Readily available in hardcover.

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”


27 thoughts on “Perfect Snow — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. What a great book selection with all the snow that has blanketed much of the country and Canada. I love that the story is about kids just romping in the snow, using their imaginations and working together. Fun book.

  2. I just laughed out loud when I saw this title, given that we got over 2 feet of perfect snow yesterday. Although we’re a bit buried, it is absolutely gorgeous outside this morning – truly perfect snow indeed – light and fluffy and sparkly 🙂 This book sounds like a fun one, and I love that you have snow activities for places with no snow!

  3. Perfect timing for this review, reminding adults (like me!) grumpy after this week’s storm in the northeast of the fun of snow.

    1. I get grumpy every time I look out the window and see that more snow is coming down. I bet when I was a kid, my reaction was much different!

    1. You will love Barbara Reid’s books, Teresa! Try to find “Have You Seen Birds?” It may be out of print, but if you can find it, you’ll love her bird illustrations!

  4. We could use that book here in Virginia this winter although the kids don’t go to school when there is much snow. they have been out of school for eleven days all total already this winter. But it would be a great book to read to give our kids an idea of what it’s like in Canada where kids go to school when it snows.

    and I love that they get recess. 🙂

    1. If kids here stayed home when it snows, they’d stay home an awful lot! But you get ice and nastiness as well, which makes a difference. We get nastiness of a different sort — wind and extreme cold. That sometimes closes schools.

  5. I don’t know much about snow, but this book looks like a lot of fun. Those illustrations sound very interesting and the videos were quite cool. Thanks!

  6. You had to pile on just a little more, huh? I am loving this winter actually, but then we are not getting hammered like the East Coast! Loved the idea of a snow construction site – on one of the links. Thanks, Beth.

  7. Sounds cute! I loved the trailer. It was fun to get a good look at the illustration style. The modeling clay type illustrations always impress me. I have it on hold 🙂 Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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