Book: The Most Perfect Snowman
Author: Chris Britt
Age Range: 4-8
The Most Perfect Snowman by Chris Britt is about a lonely snowman named Drift who was "built fast and then forgotten", left without any clothing or even a carrot nose. Drift is mocked and ignored by the other (frankly, not very nice) snowmen. Things change for Drift when a compassionate trio of children happen by and spruce him up a bit. But when the choice arises whether to maintain his spiffy new accoutrements or help someone in need, Drift has the chance to really be perfect.
OK, so the ending of this one is a little bit sappy. But Drift's reluctance to do the right thing is plausible, and the fact that he does it anyway makes this a good book for kids to read around the holidays. I also appreciated the author's finding a secondary use for a carrot nose, one that I think kids will appreciate.
Britt's text is read-aloud-friendly, with a series of up and down emotions, and the use of apt vocabulary words. Like this:
"So he spent his days alone, swooshing
and sliding through the wintry woods,
often stopping in the shadows to watch
the others laugh and play."
The three children who help Drift are so excited that they declare him (loudly): "the PERFECT snowman!" The other snowmen watch "in astonishment." There's a fair bit of dialog in The Most Perfect Snowman, and I think that it could also work for first or second graders to read on their own.
Britt's illustrations are filled with kid-friendly details, particularly the scenes in which the other snowman are partying away, dressed in their finery, and having snowball fights. There's a band with a sign: "Chilly and the Frozen Blobs". Drift raises his arms in the air with joy when a little boy gives him snuggly mittens. The smiles on the faces of Drift and the children as they play together are a delight to behold.
The Most Perfect Snowman, though not technically a holiday book, is all about giving, from the gifts that the children give to Drift to the gifts that Drift passes along. With its snowman-filled pages and winter adventures, it would make an excellent addition to a winter-themed library read-aloud. I would expect young readers to laugh in the middle, and say "aww" at the end. I look forward to reading this one with my own daughter. Recommended!
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (@HarperChildrens)
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher
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