This week's featured Picture Book is one that's very important to me personally. I came across this book when I was in college and it heavily influenced my own writing. In fact, the very first draft of my novel Thief included an opening scene where the main character discovers this book in a book store and steals it (she's thief after all). I ended up cutting the scene early on, but the spirit of this book's main character can be found in mine. So, I'm pleased to share with you this little known book in honor of the first flurries fluttering outside my window today.
The First Snow by David Christiana
(Scholastic Press 1996)
A long time ago, Mother Nature was just a little girl who loved summer. She loved it so much that she never wanted winter to come. "I hate Winter," she would say. "And that friend of his, The Wind, is a monster." She decides to try to scare off Winter, but every season must have it's turn and eventually Winter comes.
Essentially, The First Snow is a new imaginative myth. It takes an element of our world that we take for granted and views it in a unique way. It's also a very creative way of presenting a story of compromise and making new friends. Through sparse dialogue and brilliant illustrations, the two child characters come to life and feel incredibly real in their stubbornness, confusion, and ultimately their compassion. An absolutely beautiful book perfect for early elementary school children.