Saturday, 24 December 2016

Bonus Christmas Eve Booky Advent Calendar - "Snow Day" by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb (Picture Puffin)

It's Christmas Eve, and you get a double dose of Booky Advent calendar today, a bit like that extra-big choc or picture you get on your proper advent calendar.

We're returning to a book we reviewed back in 2014 because we dug it out again recently. I was probably a bit unfair in my original review because I'm actually allergic to Richard Curtis (and I've got a medical certificate to prove it) and the inevitable Christmas showing of "Love, Actually" is to be avoided at all costs (even though my lovely wife will try and tempt me into watching it).

But both Charlotte and I ADORE Rebecca Cobb's work, and her books have been a staple part of Charlotte's growing up.

In "Snow Day" something quite miraculous happens (well it'd be a bloomin' miracle if it ever happened here, let's put it that way). The world awakens to a thick snowfall, and as everyone gets a text message or an email to tell them that the school is closed, two folk miss the memo and head off into the snowy town as usual.

One is a teacher, a fairly strict fellah named Mr Trapper. The other is a boy called Danny, who is Mr Trapper's least favourite pupil (and vice versa, Danny really doesn't like Mr Tapper at all).

The teacher has to stay in school because there's a pupil present, and Danny has to stay in school because his parents are away and his aunt has already left the house. So the two of them are stuck in a snow-bound school enduring the day's lessons.

At least that's how it starts out, but as soon as Danny rushes into the playground to build a snowman at playtime, Mr Trapper comes out of his shell, showing Danny the "proper" way to make a snowman.

From thereon in, the lessons change - they raid the science class to eat all the jelly babies holding together the atom models, they go skating and skiing on books from the library (HERESY!) and build a fabulous igloo.

All too soon the day is over, and the next day all the snow is melted so both are back at school along with all the rest of the teachers and pupils. Mr Trapper seems to have reverted to his normal grumpy self, but as soon as he puts Danny in detention for slouching, the "Snow Boys" reunite and their bond of friendship is once again shared over some rather special plans for the next snow day (we won't spoil things too much for you on what they build!)

You can read our original review here. It was fantastic to find that this story had actually stood the test of time, and Charlotte still enjoyed it. I might be slightly biased but I think the whole thing hangs off Rebecca's brilliant illustrations, though the story is a rather heartwarming snowy one that's perfect for this time of year.

"Snow Day" by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb is out now, published by Picture Puffin (and kindly sent for review).