Saturday, August 09, 2008

book review: The Rabbit and the Snowman by Sally O. Lee

Title: The Rabbit and the Snowman
Author: Sally O. Lee
Publisher: BookSurge Publishing, June 2008, paperback, 36 pages
Age: 4-8 years
ISBN-10: 1419656252
ISBN-13: 978-1419656255

After the children build the snowman, they never come back to play. The snowman wonders why. Is it something he’s done? Is it because of his crooked smile or holey scarf? He’s sad until rabbit comes along and becomes his friend.

One day after it begins to get warm, the snowman isn’t there when rabbit comes to visit. Now rabbit wonders if he’s done something wrong. Does snowman think he’s too furry or that his ears are too long? Will he ever see his friend again?

The Rabbit and the Snowman by Sally O. Lee is a beautiful picture book story about enduring friendship. It’s told so simply, competent readers in the four- to eight-year-old age range should be able to read it themselves (several paragraphs put through a readability tool came out at a Grade 3.5 reading level).

The watercolor and pen and ink illustrations are gorgeous and their soft colors complement the gentle story. Lee also designed the “snowman” font in which the story is printed. It goes well with the overall look of the book (but is a little difficult to read on the one or two pages where it’s at its smallest and printed in black ink on a dark mauve background).

The only disappointment for me was the story’s ending, which seemed manufactured. The author could easily have made it organic by showing what was happening, without rabbit’s knowledge, in the illustrations.

Nevertheless, the sweet characters and wise insights about friendship in The Rabbit and the Snowman would make it a valuable addition to the bookshelf of any four- to eight-year-old.


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