The Snowman’s Wish

Harmen van Straaten, trans. from the Dutch by Andrew Rushton. North-South (Ingram, dist.), $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7358-4144-4
From The Velveteen Rabbit to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the secret lives of toys are of perennial interest to children; van Straaten’s contribution to the genre is a melancholy love story. While the other playroom toys squabble about which one of them is “the best,” a tiny, forgotten snowman aches to see the world beyond his snow globe. He’s magically granted one hour of freedom, using it to dance with a comely music-box ballerina, but can they remain together forever? The story’s reliance on magic makes its happy ending feel too easy, but van Straaten lovingly captures the story’s emotional highs and lows in his inky, expressive paintings. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/09/2013
Release date: 10/01/2013
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