Monday, June 15, 2015

Blizzard-y Picture Books

Blizzard by John Rocco
(Disney-Hyperion, 2014)
After the record-setting-bad winter in the greater Boston area, summer's almost here. It's a good time for a look back at great picture books about snow.

Drawing on his own experiences, John Rocco (Caldecott Honoree for Blackout) recounts the story of the great & horrible Blizzard of 1978, which stranded motorists, shut down schools, and pretty much paralyzed the Northeast. Rocco was a kid in Rhode Island, and his book follows a kid’s travels through and over the massive drifts. It's like Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats, only much more active.

Terrible Storm (Greenwillow, 2006)
Terrible Storm by Carol Otis Hurst with illustrations by S. D. Schindler goes way back in time to the history-making blizzard of 1888, which walloped New York City and New England. 

A pair of old-timers reminisce and recount their adventures in hilly Massachusetts during that amazing storm. This story mixes subtle amounts of gentle humor with masses of snow.

Big Snow by Jonathan Bean
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013)
Finally, Jonathan Bean's Big Snow gets at the best part of a snowstorm: the delicious feeling of anticipation. A boy awaits the first flakes, helps his mom clean house, and then drifts into sleep.

The dream sequence Bean creates--with mom struggling to vacuum up drifts of snow--is great. 

When the boy wakes to find real mountains of white stuff, at last, it's hard not to share in his delight.