"It's snowing, said boy with dog.
"It's only a snowflake," said grandfather with beard.
No one thinks one or two snowflakes will amount to anything. Not the man with the hat or the lady with the umbrella. Not even the television or the radio forecasters. But one boy and his dog have faith that the snow will amount to something spectacular, and when flakes start to swirl down on the city, they are also the only ones who know how to truly enjoy it. This playful depiction of a snowy day and the transformation of a city is perfectly captured in simple, poetic text and lively watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations.
Snow is a 1998 New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year and a 1999 Caldecott Honor Book.
Uri Shulevitz won a Caldecott Medal for his illustrated edition of Arthur Ransome's The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, and has won numerous other awards for illustrating his own books. Not surprising, then, that he'd create such a lovely book as Snow, a touching story about childish hope, grumpy pessimistic grownups, and the wonder of snowfall. Will the snow come? (Oh, please?) In the first scene there is none, but the second has--if you can find it--a single flake. Then there are more--but they melt. And then, finally... joy! These are unusually subtle illustrations for a children's book: so many illustrators try to out-do each other with lurid effects and excessive brightness, but many of Shulevitz's exquisite panels are close to monotone. He paints whole cityscapes in a dozen shades of gray, with small human figures who you notice (at second glance) have coats of gray-green, gray-blue, or gray-brown. The adults have tiny Edwardian parasols or handle-bar moustaches. The abstract, atmospheric, folktale effect is heightened by a pared-to-the-bone text, just a few words per page. "'It's nothing,' said man with hat. Then three snowflakes. 'It's snowing,' said boy with dog." Snow perfectly captures the transformative nature of snow and the result is magical. Click to see a sample spread. Illustrations and text ©Uri Shulevitz, reprinted with permission from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Ages 3 to 6) --Richard Farr