Snow by Walter de la Mare

cover image

Ill. by Carolina Rabei. Faber, 2014. ISBN 9780571312191
(Ages: 4-6) Highly recommended. This stunning presentation of de la Mare's poem is a triumph. Rabei's illustrations using a limited palette of colours to accentuate the crisp white of the snow are just beautiful and take the classic poem from being simply about the wonder of a snowy winter to a celebration of a northern hemisphere Christmas.
The text is sparingly scattered throughout the book which has a combination of styles from full double page spreads to snap-shot style story boards, and the reader can follow a family's preparations for a cosy Christmas.
There is a quiet beauty to this poem and in this format is all the more accessible to a new generation.
No breath of wind,
No gleam of sun -
Still the white snow
Whirls softly down -

Small and I really enjoyed sharing this, loving the sound of the language but also 'telling' the story through the illustrations.
I don't know that I'll ever be able to conjure up enough snow to make a snowman but at least we can vicariously do so as well as toboggan, run through the woods with the puppy and trace the feathery frost on the windows.
Highly recommended for young readers from around 4 up. I just really adore the almost minimalist design of this book - truly beautiful!
Find out more about Walter de la Mare here.
Sue Warren