Big Snow

Book review by
Terreece Clarke, Common Sense Media
Big Snow Book Poster Image
Delightful tale of a child eagerly awaiting first snowfall.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational value

Though not intentionally educational, Big Snow serves as a conversation starter on weather and seasons, about which children are naturally curious.

Positive messages

Big Snow offers a positive look at the wonder of winter weather and imaginative play. The background illustrations also provide a positive look at the diverse community surrounding the main character. The home next door to David has a menorah in the window, there are neighbors of different races and ages, and the main characters are African-American. The overall effect is subtle as it portrays a normal multicultural and socioeconomically diverse environment.

Positive role models & representations

Main character David is a typical preschooler who lets his imagination and focus on snow get the better of his chores. An interesting note is that his mother offers redirection as a parenting solution to engage her wiggly preschooler.

Violence & scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Big Snow focuses on a little boy's anticipation of a big snowstorm. Main character David's hope for winter fun is mostly drama-free but does result in an anxiety-driven dream in which the storm occurs inside his home and is difficult to manage. Young children may be prompted to share their weather concerns following the story. David's neighborhood is culturally and economically diverse. His next-door neighbor has a menorah in the window, there are neighbors of different races and ages, and David's family is African-American. The overall effect is subtle as it portrays a normal multicultural environment. It's a great read for preschoolers and early readers.

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What's the story?

David can't wait for snow to come! Everything reminds him of it: the flour for making cookies, the bubbles from cleaning up. David even dreams about snow with drift so high he can't close the door. Will snow ever come, and will it be a BIG snow? Find out with David as he bakes, cleans, and waits his way through the day.

Is it any good?

BIG SNOW by Jonathan Bean is a beautifully drawn, well-told story that captures the imagination of a young child consumed by his thoughts of snow. The quick pace of the book mirrors the anxiety of the title character as he spends each moment -- no matter the task -- focused on when the snow's going to come. There are laugh-out-loud moments as David repeatedly dashes outside to check the progress of the weather, leaving his mother covered in bubbles or scooping up flour in his wake.

Parents and kids alike can identify with this book even if they haven't grown up in a wintry climate. Who hasn't built a new world from sheets or imagined another landscape in a tub full of bubbles? Big Snow is a great read for preschoolers and early readers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the way weather affects their lives, including how the media portrays upcoming weather systems, how to dress for different types of weather, and types of weather around the world.

  • Families should talk about different ways to have fun in different types of weather. Coming up with a list weather-related activities is a great way to ensure family fun, rain or shine.

  • How does snow form? Are all snowflakes really different? Tackle the science of snow as a family and become experts of the white stuff.

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