Friday, January 7, 2011


There's a book that's several weeks overdue at the library.  So why don't I just renew it?  It's on a long waiting list because many, many readers have requested it in their que.  Meanwhile, the kids are so taken with it, that they're still not ready to depart from it.  [Another post, another time: how to separate the kids from a beloved book when it's due back at the library.]  Right now, it's worth the 80 cents total late fee.  Don't worry, I intend to return it tomorrow . . . or the next day. 

The book I'm referring is Snow, a rather new book (c. 2008) by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer.  Rylant's characteristically lyrical voice transports her reader into the first moments of freshly falling snow.  Her manipulation of text slows down the day's pace just as falling snow draws things to a halt.  Here's one of my favorite lines:

Some snows fall only lightly,
just enough
to make you notice
the delicate limbs of trees,
the light falling
from the lamppost,
a sparrow's small feet.

Stringer illustrates this book beautifully.  In fact, of all her illustrated children's books, I think Snow to be her best work.  Her approach seems different from her other books.  She cleverly contrasts cold against cozy with the whites and blues painted in her outdoor scenes juxtaposed against the warm hues of her indoor scenes.  If you'd like to read Stringer's discussion of her process in illustrating snow, click here.

Let me know what you think about Snow's poetical text and beautiful snowflaked illustrations.  (Yep, that's a word I just made up ~ "snowflaked.")

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