Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Snowmen at night

Happy 100 posts to Saffron Tree!!!

Snowmen at night
Written by Caralyn Buehner
Pictures by Mark Buehner

Ages : 3-6

Have you ever wondered about the secret life of a snowman? Maybe one morning, his grin is a little crooked, or his tree branch arms have drooped, and you've thought...what do snowmen do at night?

Thus goes the little intro to the book on the jacket cover. The inspiration for this story originated when the Buehners opened their front door one morning, to find that the snowman they had created the night before, had travelled several yards, and was now facing the front door!!!! And it made them start to wonder...and it makes you start to wonder too. So make sure you got on your hats and boots and woollies. For we are about to follow the snowmen on the street and maybe we'll get to see just what it is that they do all night...

The first page opens up to the picture of a little boy building a snowman. When he has made 2 round balls, a smaller one for the head and the larger one for the body, he starts to work on its features. What looks like olives for the eyes and a dotted, curvy, smiling mouth, a carrot for the nose, a bright blue hat on its head and a nice warm red and white striped woolly scarf snug around its neck! Quite a gentlemanly snowman, if I may say so. And the boy goes on to tell us...

One wintry day I made a snowman,
very round and tall.
The next day when I saw him,
he was not the same at all!

And here...begins the mystery...why was he not the same at all? How did he look different?

His hat had slipped, his arms drooped down,
he really looked a fright-
it made me start to wonder:
What do snowmen do at night?

Oooooo...interesting isn't it? Don't you already feel the thrill of mystery and suspense nibbling at your toasty toes? Well, if you think you're going to sit back, solve the mystery and find out all that happens in the pages that're sadly mistaken! Oh yes! For I shall delight in leaving things hanging in the air, with just this much to go on. But I will give you some little clues to tide you through from now till the point you lay your gloved hands on the book. For instance, there is a little depiction of snowmen mothers who lovingly serve cups of ice cold cocoa to all the gathered bunch of snow-people, which is utterly cute and appealed to the mother in me! And in the lovely illustrations by Mark Buehner, there are also many hidden images, which you and your child will simply delight in finding together. Figures of a cat, a rabbit, a Santa face and a Tyrannosaurus Rex are all interwoven skillfully into the paintings, adding to the wintertime mystery and involving you, just a little bit more, as a reader.

All through the book, you will not find yourself in passive action. You are drawn in to the whole scene and given special privileges to take a peek into the secret lives of snowmen. On the last page, the scene depicted is that of the morning. The sun is out, and the little boy comes out of the house, pulling on a sled, all ready to head out and enjoy the snow! But what does he see when he comes out??? He tells us...

So if your snowman's grin is crooked,
or he's lost a little height,
you'll know he's just been doing
what snowmen do all night! still don't know yet, do you?


Anusha said...

Happy Happy 100, Saffron Tree!!!
and Tharini, that is one intriguing review..makes me want to head to the library right now! Here's wishing many more 100s for ST!

Praba Ram said...

Happy 100 to ST and all of our readers and reviewers here!

T - What a cheerful and cozy pick for the sweatery season!
"snowmen mothers serving hot cocoa" - can't ask for anything more!

Praba Ram said...

forgot to mention - the cover picture looks fantastic. And as if all this is not enough, the entire story in rhymes - oh, my! - Like Kodi's mom, I too want to run to the library to pick this one up right now - such a fascinating one! thank you!:-)

Jen Robinson said...

Happy 100th post! Looking forward to 100 more.

ranjani.sathish said...

Congrats to all of us for bringing it so far and so good !!!

Sheela said...

ah, just the kind of book Ana would love - even if she won't get it all at her 2.5 yrs! She loves snowman for some reason, and she loves rhyming verses in books, and judging from the cover, I agree with Praba that the pictures look great - thanks for another good review Tharini.

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