Big Snow

Jonathan Bean, Author
Jonathan Bean. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-374-30696-0
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A “big snow” can’t arrive soon enough for a boy named David. Mom tries to keep him occupied with household tasks, but everything he does only makes him think about what’s happening outside (flour, bathroom cleaner suds, and white bed sheets all remind him of accumulation). When it’s clear that David’s help is actually creating more mess, Mom suggests a nap—and David, in turn, dreams that the snow has turned into a vengeful, invasive blizzard: “[W]ild wind pushed flakes through window cracks.... [I]t roared and blew open all the doors and piled drifts around the house.” Never mind being careful what you wish for—how are David and his mother going to clean up this huge mess? This is another terrific offering from Bean (Building Our House); his subtly rhythmic prose and elegant, astute watercolors hit just the right notes of comedy, suspense, and fantasy. The dream scene of Mom vacuuming the snow out of her drift-covered living room is at once deeply silly and a tribute to the indomitable will of mothers everywhere. Ages 3–6. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)
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