Parents' Guide to


By Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Snowball journeys through alphabet in fun book.

Avalanche Poster Image

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Though Michael Rosen's verse may take some explaining to young readers, it more than repays the effort. With lines like "And so the Vacuum in the cosmos / clutched this cold compound, / and then rewound it round itself / and hurled it homeward bound," the verse's snap and crackle alone will provoke some toe-tapping. That the alphabet is thrown into the bargain seems a good deal indeed.

David Butler's illustrations work beautifully. He uses collage and painting set against what is often a field of sharp color, and depicts the hungry, growing snowball/avalanche to heady effect. He has set the letters off like fireworks by bumping up their relative size and splashing them with color. Younger kids will appreciate the jazzy mood, with a note of emphasis when each new letter is introduced, while older kids can get a sense of the process involved here -- its movement through time and space -- all wrapped up in snow and laughter.

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