The Snowman and the Sun

Tiny Owl. Nov. 2021. 24p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781910328798.
PreS-Gr 1–On a hot, sunny day, a snowman wonders, “What happens if I melt?” The snowman then faces each stage of the water cycle—melting, sinking into the ground, warming and evaporating, becoming a cloud, etc.—with wonder and curiosity until it is time to become snow, and a snowman, again. Taghdis’s careful word choices create a story of optimism when it comes to each change in the water cycle. When the snowman melts, he “ran as water over the ground,” a beautiful phrase that describes his transformation as a new form, not loss. Mafakheri’s use of grid outlines as a backdrop to his bright art is reminiscent of childhood sketching and provides an open sense of space for water in various forms as the squares are shaded in. The addition of other characters, such as the young child who first creates the snowman, a bee, some fish, and a sassy cat, move among the spreads, offering a sense of continuity as the snowman’s form alters. On the surface, it is a charming story about the water cycle from a snowman’s point-of-view, but it’s also about transformation.
VERDICT These are complicated and difficult experiences even for adults, but the snowman’s positivity demonstrates one way to move forward through change. A stellar first purchase.

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