cover image Danny’s First Snow

Danny’s First Snow

Leonid Gore, . . Atheneum/Seo, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-1330-6

The exquisite illustrations in this story about a first snowfall will delight young readers. When Danny, pictured as a rabbit, ventures outside after a heavy snowfall, the landscape surprises him: “All the trees, bushes, and grass were gone. And who were these new friends?” Gore’s (The Sugar Child ) intricately textured acrylic and pastel illustrations isolate the “friends”: Danny hops over a chick (a tiny snowdrift), a prickly hedgehog (a small bush caught in snow) and even an ostrich (a taller bush). Eventually, Danny becomes alarmed by the larger forms, imagining them as wolves. Gore’s snow creatures are just scary enough without being overwhelming, and when Danny remembers his mother’s advice (“When you get scared, run!”), his run home becomes the most suspenseful part of the book. The gentle denouement, as Danny slides down a “sleeping elephant,” leads in to a snowy-soft bedtime ending. “Now do you know what snow is, Danny?” asks his mother, and Danny answers, “Yes, Mommy. I know what snow is today,” he says, “but I can’t wait to see what it will be tomorrow!” Gore achieves remarkable shapes and surfaces, with green pines transformed into bears that gradually melt away as the day advances. His illustrations show what the text need not explain: that ordinary snowflakes can transform the familiar into a world of wonder. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)