Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Snow Child by Debi Gliori (Francis Lincoln Children's Books)

Debi Gliori is a lovely person to tweet to, and she let slip a few pearls of wisdom about "The Snow Child" that made us smile. I told her how Charlotte always wished for snow, and that the stuff we get down here "darn sarf" isn't the real thing as depicted in her book.

Debi told me that her agent said "The snow's a bit unrealistic in Snow Child, we don't get snow like that in London" which caused much rolling of the eyes for poor Debi. You see, her neck of the woods is the (frozen) north in Bonnie Scotland where you know you've had snow when you can't tell where your car ends and the kerb begins.

The other thing she told me about real snow was how your toothbrushes freeze! Eeek!

We think this book is lovely, first because it tells such a beautiful story about a lonely young girl who can't quite 'fit in' with the circle of friends in her neighbourhood. Try as she might, she always seems to be one step behind their games but she's lovely and kind, and we couldn't work out why the other children were so mean (Kids can be so cruel - any Simpsons fans are now imagining Bart saying "We can? Thanks mom!" and then running riot).

The girl decides to make her own friends one day after a heavy snow fall and so begins to make a snow child. A dumpy little snowman, kitted out with all the proper snowman accessories like coal eyes, a carrot nose and a cast-off hat and scarf.

As she returns to her home to grab some extra goodies to make another friend, she notices someone else has beaten her to it. In fact another girl has made a snowman right next to her dumpy little snowchild.

What happens next is beautifully told and a real heartwarming story - just the sort of thing you need on a day like today when the first frost sees off the last of your tomatoes, and the garden is full of birds making very good use of your bird feeders.

A lovely book. You might have to hunt around for it as it's fairly old, but we were lucky enough to spot this in our local library so jumped at the chance to review it.

Here's our very own snow child making her very own snow...er...thing the last time we had proper snow down here, in December 2010

Charlotte's best bit: "Proper snow Daddy, I really want proper snow!"

Daddy's favourite bit: Wholly identifying with the girl in this story, and such a beautiful story it is too.