Friday 5 December 2014

ReadItDaddy's Booky Advent Book of the Week - Week Ending 5th December 2014 - "Snow Day" by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb (Picture Puffin)

Snow Day

Written by Richard Curtis

Illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Published by Picture Puffin

Our first Festive Book of the Week for December is a book I knew we'd like from an illustrative perspective (we absolutely love everything Rebecca Cobb does) but weren't too sure about from a story perspective.

You see, I guess we're not really in the market for Richard Curtis' brand of writing. Though I'll bow to his genius back when he was writing some of the funniest comedy on TV (Blackadder) he made me laugh like a drain, but with movies like "Notting Hill" and "Love Actually" - and even TV like "The Vicar of Dibley" I never really liked the schmaltzy stuff as much.

But this book is fantastic, and it feels like a truly original christmas story that may have an air of familiarity to anyone who has been stuck at home with the kids on a "Snow Day" - when school is closed and there's no way to get from A to B.

Two folk turn up to school regardless of the weather, a boy called Danny and his least favourite teacher, the strict and stern Mr Trapper. Danny and Mr Trapper are SWORN ENEMIES so imagine being stuck in a snow-bound school all day with the person you like least in the world.

Amazingly though, Mr Trapper and Danny bond over their shared predicament - and this is where the story really starts to warm the cockles of even this old cynic's heart. Mr Trapper sees something in Danny's character that isn't unlike his own. Both seem fairly lonely, and perhaps can find common ground if only they can think of a way to jazz up the cold and miserable day.

Mr Trapper and Danny decide to ditch the lessons for the day, and embark on a wonderful set of adventures doing all the things that schoolkids (and probably quite a few schoolteachers) dream of doing when the school is empty. Misusing school supplies to good effect (though we're not sure we approve of using schoolbooks as makeshift ice skates) and building the world's biggest snow fort.

It's almost a shame when the snow is all but fleeting, and starts to disappear - meaning the next day will just be yet another boring school day. For one fantastic day though, these two characters share a bond that lasts for a long time, recalling just how much fun can be had in the snow.

Utterly and completely brilliant and well deserving of our first "Booky Advent Book of the Week" for the festive period!

Charlotte's best bit: Mr Trapper and Danny's utterly incredible (and huge) Snow Fort

Daddy's Favourite bit: A thoroughly original and heartwarming story with the most glorious and wonderful illustrations. Lovely stuff!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Picture Puffin)