Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Snowchild

I just adore, The Snowchild, by Debi Gliori, her gentle tale of Katie, a little girl with, apparently, no play-mates, who is always: "On the shut-out rim of one game was a small girl called Katie. Katie left-out. Katie-who-didn't-know-how-to-play."

Sweet Katie, why oh why are children so tough on each other? Gliori's delicate book carefully nudges this miserable subject, a child left out by everyone else. Until eventually one snowy day in the park:

"...full of friends, snowfriends, snowchildren, real friends, real children. And Katie wasn't watching them from the shut-out rim. She was there in the circle, playing with her new friend."

Her use of the hyphen I think is just perfect, sewing her thoughts together gently pulling us into her world.

The illustration is old-fashioned, evocative and very tangible, full of detail, so that both adult and child can look and look and look.

Published in 1994 the book is timeless.

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