Although the tale of a snowman coming to life via a special hat is familiar, Hillenbrand (the Bear and Mole series) brings a freshness to the idea in this chipper wordless outing. Against a wintry blue-gray woodland background, delicately pixilated with snowflakes, a rabbit discovers a black hat, which has been dropped by a passing owl. The curious bunny tumbles into the topless top hat and is spirited away by a wind gust to the head of a snowman, newly built by a bear, fox, and penguin. The rabbit stays hidden inside the hat while the snowman shares a story from a bright green book. After the other animals fall asleep, the rabbit steals the book, drawing everyone (even the snowman) into hot pursuit. The ensuing chase, which includes a snowball battle, has a cozy finish that includes forgiving the rabbit’s selfish book-snatching (which, while well-intentioned, remains a bit puzzling). Splashes of color—a red scarf, the green book, the animals’ fur—and varying perspectives and panel sizes help convey a deft sense of movement and drama. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014 Release date: 11/18/2014 Genre: Children's
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