cover image The Smallest Snowflake

The Smallest Snowflake

Bernadette Watts, . . North-South, $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7358-2258-0

As she listens to the big plans of other snowflakes (“I'll ride the wind to the most beautiful mountain in the world”), the Smallest Snowflake wonders where she will land; she's searching for “someplace special.” With the delicacy of embroidery, Watts's ink and watercolor spreads show snowy landscapes around the wintry world: rosy-cheeked women in red scarves hurrying past the domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, Mount Fuji standing against a pink sky swirling with snow, ice-dwellers fishing by igloos and icy peaks. Some may wonder how an object as ephemeral as a snowflake can think of searching for a place to settle down, but the Smallest Snowflake does just that, landing in the window box of a stone cottage. “There was a fire glowing in the fireplace and... on the table, a picture being painted” (an image from Watts's version of Little Red Riding Hood sits on the table). As spring comes, the inevitable conclusion brings not tragedy but elation for the snowflake: “Love filled her heart with such warmth that she melted away with joy.” A gentle celebration of winter beauty. Ages 3–up. (Oct.)