First Snow

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
First Snow Book Poster Image
Young dog discovers snow is fun in cute, relatable story.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Shows the kinds of things you can do in the snow: make snow angels, ride sleds, form snowballs, and have a snowball fight. 

Positive Messages

Try something new -- you might like it. Playing in the snow can be fun. Show your cousin a good time when he visits. If someone's being negative about giving an activity a try, gently encourage him and show him how fun it can be.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Pedro's cousins are kind, friendly, cheerful, welcoming, encouraging, and fun-loving, as are the neighbor kids. Pedro is apprehensive, but he eventually joins in the fun. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Peter McCarty's First Snow is a gentle story about trying something new -- in this case, playing in the snow. It's the latest picture book from the author of ChloeHenry in Love, and the Caldecott Honor book Hondo & Fabian. A great read-aloud, especially on a wintry day. 

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What's the story?

Cousin Pedro comes to visit his doggie cousins, and that night it starts to snow. "I have never seen snow," says Pedro. "I don't think I will like it. ... Because it's cold. And I don't like cold." But in the morning, the dog kids, Sancho, Bella, Lola, Ava, and Maria, and trepidatious Pedro bundle up and go outside to play. The dogs and the neighbor kids (other animals, including cats and a chicken) show Pedro all the fun things to do in the snow: make snow angels, taste a snowflake on your tongue, sled down the hill, and have a friendly snowball fight. He finally declares, "I love the snow!" and, for the rest of the day, Pedro doesn't feel the cold at all.

Is it any good?

FIRST SNOW not only shows what's fun about snow play but also captures the apprehension kids often feel about trying new things -- and how they can be won over once they do. The cute, friendly, fun-loving, and encouraging animal characters wear varied and distinctive pastel outfits that add interest on every page.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about trying new things. Have you ever tried doing something you thought you wouldn't like but discovered it's really fun? 

  • Have you read any other fun stories about the snow? 

  • The kids in the dog family seem to have lots of fun. What's fun about having lots of brothers, sisters, and cousins? How many do you have? 

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

Themes & Topics

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