Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review - Snowflakes Fall

Snowflakes Fall
by Patricia MacLachlan
illustrated by Steven Kellogg
Date: 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

In Snowflakes Fall, Newbery Medalist Patricia MacLachlan and award-winning artist Steven Kellogg portray life’s natural cycle: its beauty, its joy, and its sorrow. Together, the words and pictures offer the promise of renewal that can be found in our lives—snowflakes fall, and return again as raindrops so that flowers can grow.

MacLachlan and Kellogg, who are longtime friends, were moved to collaborate on a message of hope for children and their families following the tragic events in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Kellogg lived in Sandy Hook for thirty-five years—he raised his family there and was an active member of the community. With Snowflakes Fall, they have created a truly inspiring picture book that is both a celebration of life and a tribute to the qualities that make each individual unique.

In honor of the community of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Random House, the publisher of Snowflakes Fall, has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. Random House is also donating 25,000 new books to the national literacy organization First Book in the community’s honor and in support of children everywhere.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I was familiar with both the author (Sarah, Plain and Tall) and the illustrator (Pinkerton, Behave!) from my childhood, so when I saw that they had collaborated on this picture book, I knew it was probably going to be pretty good.  Snowflakes Fall is a beautiful little book, a tribute to the children who died in Sandy Hook in 2012.  Though it was inspired by an awful event, the book itself is charming and sweet, with a lovely message and well-crafted illustrations.

It's a simple premise, told in sparse free verse, about the continuity of life and the precious individuality of each of us.  It's a relaxing sort of book to read, and I can imagine kids curling up with this one to read the text and pore over the illustrations.  It's one of the nicer picture books I've read lately.

Quotable moment:

Snowflakes fall

To sit on gardens

And evergreen trees

And the tongues of laughing children—

No two the same—

All beautiful.

Recommended to: picture-book lovers who like to savour the reading experience and linger over illustrations

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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