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|Making a friend|
Author: McGhee, Alison
When the snow falls, a young boy makes a snowman that becomes his friend until the seasons change.
Booklist - 10/01/2011 It is a simple story, told many times over: a child builds a snowman, and then the snowman melts. McGhee’s take stars a boy with a red baseball cap and the phrase, What you love will always be with you. To illustrate continuity, the narrator’s response to the boy’s question, Where did he go? points to the following seasons’ precipitation and the presence of water in the child’s world. In this way, the snowman is there in the rain, fog, and frost. When a new season arrives and it snows again, the boy lovingly builds a new snowman just like the one that melted, as if it had never left. Rosenthal’s spare drawings complement the tenor of the simple text. Childlike, the illustrations rely on a limited palate. Clues that the snowman is still present in the elements show up in suggestions of the snowman’s face and body in raindrops, puddles, and clouds. These details are extremely subtle, but when observant children notice them, they will feel justly rewarded. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 K-Gr 2—In minimal but evocative text, McGhee introduces a small boy who builds a snowman and becomes attached to his creation. When it inevitably melts in the spring, the boy wonders, "Where did he go?" He finds his snowman almost everywhere he turns—in the rain on the ocean, the fog in the hollow, the frost on the window, etc., and realizes, "What you love will always be with you." When winter returns, he builds another snowman and again enjoys the companionship. Similar in tone to Mo Willems's City Dog, Country Frog (Hyperion, 2010), this gentle story offers the same opportunity to discuss the cycle of love, loss, and emotional renewal. The digitally manipulated pencil illustrations have a retro look and are reminiscent of the work of Louis Slobodkin. There is a lot of white space, particularly on the pages where only the boy and the snowman are depicted, giving the impression that they are in their own special private world. A simple but deeply nuanced story that should resonate with children.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.