cover image Snow


Cynthia Rylant, , illus. by Lauren Stringer. . Harcourt, $17 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205303-1

Rylant and Stringer (previously paired for Scarecrow ) celebrate winter wonderlands in a cozy, lyrical tribute. Whether they encounter heavy snow that buries “cars up to their noses,” or the best snow of all, the kind “that comes softly in the night, like a shy friend afraid to knock, so she thinks she'll just wait in the yard until you see her,” kids embrace the precipitation. Author and illustrator largely look through a nostalgic lens. Rylant wistfully observes the snow's fleeting beauty and the passage of time; Stringer casts a granddaughter and grandmother duo in the lead roles. The result can feel more like a stroll down memory lane (or a preparation for one) than a childlike, in-the-moment romp. Stringer takes full advantage of the book's oversize dimensions and offers a range of perspectives. Her acrylic illustrations brim with blue-white crystal creations—flurries, drifts and snowflakes, no two alike. And when winter asserts itself at twilight, Stringer also shows grandmother and granddaughter staying warm inside, happy to be together: “It's the snow's turn now,” Rylant says as Stringer offers an aerial view of the house, “We'll watch it fall.” Like snow, the ending achieves a perfect silence. Ages 3–7. (Nov.)