Monday, December 14, 2020

Review - Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White

Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White

by Saumiya Balasubramaniam
illustrated by Eva Campbell
Date: 2020
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

A little girl and her mother walk home from school on a snowy winter day.

“So much snow,” says Ma. “So monochromatic.”

“Mono crow what?” her daughter replies.

Ma misses the sun, warmth and colors of their faraway homeland, but her daughter sees magic in everything — the clouds in the winter sky, the “firework” display when she throws an armful of snow into the air, making snow angels, tasting snowflakes. And in the end, her joy is contagious. Home is where family is, after all.

This gently layered, beautifully illustrated story that unfolds as a conversation between a mother and daughter will resonate with readers young and old.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I almost didn't pick up this book because of the off-putting title. Without understanding the context (and seeing the child playing with snow on the sidewalk), my first thought was something along the lines of yellow snow... only worse (which was obviously not the intent!). And that's a shame, because this is quite a decent picture book highlighting the different views of snow that members of a South Asian-Canadian family might have.

A little girl and her mother walk home from school on a snowy day. The mother can only see the white that surrounds them and longs for her tropical home. The child, on the other hand, sees plenty of colour (the grey of her cat and the blue of the sky, for example) and insists that she is home.

There's not much to the story, really, but it's interesting to see the two different perspectives. The pages are illustrated with a deft touch, bringing the emotions of the pair to life.

I would recommend this one to newcomers to Canada who might be experiencing snow for the first time. It would also be a nice addition to a library of seasonal books that deal with weather.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

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