big snow

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

It is very hard to wait for the snow to come, as David discovers in this picture book perfect for the snowy season.  David is waiting for the snow to start, so he helps his mother bake cookies.  But then the flour reminds him of the snow so he heads out to check on it.  It’s fine and dusty in the air.  He heads back inside and helps clean the bathroom, but then is reminded of snow from the bubbles.  When he checks, there is more snow but it’s still light.  He helps his mother change sheets and is reminded of snow blanketing the ground, when he checks outside that’s exactly what the snow is doing!  Then it’s naptime, and David dreams of snow, lots and lots of snow.  Will his dream come true?

Bean creates a book not only about waiting for a big snow, but also about the different types of snow that arrive in the course of a storm.  It is a wonderful tribute to loving snow and wintry weather and hoping for the white to cover the barren landscape.  Bean cleverly ties in David’s reminders of snow with the level of snow outdoors.  Children will immediately get the connection and will enjoy watching the storm outside progress.

Bean varies the illustrations from close ups of David helping his mother and their cozy home interiors to distance images of their home and neighborhood as it transforms under the snow.  One can see the magic of snow happening firsthand.  I also love the humor of David disappearing to check on the snow, only the end of his scarf still in the room.  And bravo for Bean creating a family of color in a book that doesn’t have anything to do with race.

Even with the icy temperatures outside, this is a book that will get everyone looking forward to the next big snow.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar Straus Giroux.