First Snow by Peter McCarty
Pedro is visiting his cousin Sancho. While he is there, snow starts to fall, something that Pedro has never seen before. But he knows already that he won’t like the snow since it’s so cold. The next morning, his cousins are thrilled to head outside into the fresh snow that fell all night long. Pedro is very doubtful, saying again how cold it is. When the other children make snow angels, Pedro doesn’t even want to try. Other children in the neighborhood arrive with their sleds. One of them shows Pedro how to catch snowflakes on his tongue. They all take their sleds to the top of the big hill. Pedro is too cautious to go first, but soon he finds himself joining everyone else riding down the hill. He is thrown off his sled and lands in the cold snow, but he no longer finds it too cold to have fun.
McCarty deftly shows the reluctance of a child experiencing something for the first time. He handles it with a delicacy that shows the hesitation clearly and the hanging back. Yet Pedro still tries things as the day goes on, and the other children don’t force him to try anything he doesn’t want to. By the end of the day, Pedro is just as merrily playing in the snow as the others. This book shines with a gentle spirit and allows children to see themselves clearly on the page.
As always McCarty’s illustrations are a treat. I particularly enjoy seeing characters from his other picture books in this story. Plus you have the added bonus of little creatures in snow suits with room in the hoods for their ears!
An ideal pick for snowy days or a way to discuss trying something new in a gentle and supportive way. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.