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The Snowman: 05/05/13

cover art

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is in the style of Frosty the Snowman but told only in pictures. A boy spends the day building a man sized snowman and that night the snowman comes alive.

First the snowman explores the world inside the boy's house. He learns about dinner, TV, the fire place and all sorts of other domestic things. To him the house is an exotic, curious, sometimes magical and sometimes dangerous place.

In return for the boy's kindness, the snowman takes him on a nighttime journey. They fly to Russia and take in the sites. To the boy it's a far away, icy, curious place. To the snowman, perhaps it feels more like home.

The book has an open-ended conclusion. For children learning story structure, The Snowman could be used to open the discussion on how stories are told and how they can be interpreted. It could also be used to get children to provide their own version of the story to accompany the panels.

The book won the Horn Book Award for picture books in 1979 as well as the Zilvren Griffel award the same year. In other words, I was five when the book was first published. I could have read it when it was newly in print, but I don't don't think I did.

Five stars

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