Snow Day

Moria Fain, Author, Moira Fain, Author Walker & Company $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8409-4
The wintry dream of children everywhere--school cancellation due to snow--comes true in Fain's picture book debut, a period piece set in 1961. Maggie Murphy has cleverly disguised her habits of chewing gum and writing notes in Sister Agatha's class--until now. Sister Agatha catches Maggie off guard and punishes her with an extra homework assignment, an original poem to be read aloud to the class. Maggie fails to write the poem, but she is reprieved. An overnight snowstorm buys her some time and provides for an enlightening chance meeting with her strict teacher on School Hill, the best place for sledding. The lightweight text brims with the stereotypical details of a large Irish Catholic family, and the poem Maggie finally composes ends the story on a somewhat treacly note, but several descriptive turns of phrase fuel the story's energy. Fain's accomplished, atmospheric oil paintings successfully set both a mood and sense of place. Sister Agatha will surely prove an unusual sight to most young readers; perhaps the chief pleasure in the image of nuns in their long black habits sledding down a snowy hill is reserved for those who remember the days of more formal religious dress. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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