cover image Snow Pumpkin

Snow Pumpkin

Carole Lexa Schaefer. Crown Publishers, $14.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-517-80015-7

October snowfall inspires an unusual snowman in this low-key tale by the team behind The Squiggle. Delighted to find ""a little pillow of snow"" on her windowsill one fall morning, Lily bundles up and races to the park, where other children pack snowballs, build forts and make snow angels. There's barely enough snow to go around, so Lily and her friend Jesse improvise. They visit a community garden where three pumpkins show ""in the snow as bright as three orange suns,"" and select one to top their snowman. Schaefer's nicely understated text entrusts much of the storytelling to the illustrations. Lily's grandmother is too busy to come and see the ""snow pumpkin man"" (""`Tomorrow,' she said""), but doesn't explain what she's doing with her needle, thread and colorful fabric; the closing pages picture homemade Halloween costumes. Morgan paints the episode on eggshell-brown stock that accents the downy puffs of snow and cozy, mismatched woolens worn by the excited children. This book quietly reminds its readers of the electrifying first snowflakes and the pleasurable warmth of an oversize sweater. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)