Reading More and Connecting More in 2021

Just SNOW Already!: Howard McWilliam

Book: Just SNOW Already!
Author: Howard McWilliam
Pages: 32
Age Range: 4-8

I hardly ever write book reviews anymore, and so don't request, or generally receive, review copies. Earlier this week, however, Just SNOW Already! landed in my mailbox earlier this week. My daughter spied the cover and asked me to read it aloud to her while she ate dinner. This was nostalgic for both of - I used to read to her frequently while she ate meals when she was little. Now 13 (!), she's not even littler than me. Anyway, we both LOVED Just SNOW Already!, and she asked me to blog about it on both of our behalf.

Just SNOW Already! is Howard McWilliam's debut as an author. He previously illustrated the When A Dragon Moves In and I Need My Monster series, which we also enjoyed (especially the former). Just SNOW Already! is super fun. The narrator, a small boy, is delighted when Dad tells him that "it might snow today." He keeps checking outside, but the snow doesn't come. He's dying for the snow, excited beyond words for how much fun he's going to have when it finally arrives. But every time he checks the street, there is "nothing ... happening out there." 

This deadpan observation is set against McWilliam's joyful illustrations of the many things that ARE happening out there. There are movers struggling with a couch, firefighters rescuing a cat from a tree, a letter carrier losing her letters, and much more. As the book progresses, the events happening outside from ever more madcap (monster trucks! falling cans of paint! circus monkeys! costumes!). But for the boy, waiting for the snow is "BORING". He notices nothing else, even as his sister is outside, happily playing with a friend, enmeshed in some of the various neighborhood drama. But for the boy, it's all tedium in the endless wait for ... dare we hope? ... will it happen? SNOW!

Young readers will be in on the "nothing happening" gag, even as they can't help but hope, with each page turn, that the boy's devotion to snow is rewarded. The illustrations are colorful and detailed, sure to reward rereads with new details to observe every time. 

McWilliam'a text is spare but super fun to read aloud, crying out for expressiveness. "What if it NEVER snows again?!" (in big font above a picture of the boy with huge, terrified eyes). And "It wasn't fair. I bet it was snowing where other kids lived. My day was ruined."

I only wish this book had come out about 8 years earlier. My young teen enjoyed it. But her five year old self would have cried "Again! Again!" As will other young readers. Just SNOW Already! is a delight from start to finish. Highly recommended!

Publisher: Flashlight Press
Publication Date: September 1, 2023
Source of Book: Review copy from the publisher

© 2023 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through affiliate links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).