cover image Snowflakes Fall

Snowflakes Fall

Patricia MacLachlan, illus. by Steven Kellogg. Random, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-37693-8

In tribute to the lives lost in the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, acclaimed author and artist MacLachlan and Kellogg collaborate on a book that celebrates “the laughter, the playful high spirits, and the uniqueness of the children of Sandy Hook and of children everywhere,” as Kellogg explains in his dedication. The text unfolds as a continuous verse, emphasizing renewal while drawing a comparison between the singularity of a snowflake and that of a child: “After the flowers are gone/ Snowflakes fall./ Flake/ After flake/ After flake/ Each one a pattern/ All its own—/ No two the same—/ All beautiful.” Rosy-cheeked children and rowdy pet dogs cavort through the snowy wonderland of Kellogg’s paintings, which give way to rainy spring scenes “Where soon/ Flowers will grow/ Again.” The most direct allusion to the tragedy comes in two scenes picturing “fields of snow angels,” a somber metaphor for the children killed. It’s a potent reminder of the ephemeral nature of childhood and of the joys contained within those fleeting years. Ages 3–7. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, East West Literary Agency. (Oct.)