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Atlantic Books for the Holidays



by Joan Clark
illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

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imagination & play, weather, seasons
list price: $16.95
also available: Paperback
published: 2006
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
3 to 5
p to k
Reading age:
3 to 5
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review


Sammy wakes one morning to find that his entire world is in the midst of a snowstorm. “It snowed through breakfast, lunch and supper. It snowed through play time and read time. It snowed through bed time, sleep time and dream time.” In fact, it snows all day, all week and all month. When the storm finally abates, a jubilant Sammy rushes outside to survey the transformed landscape. He wonders what could be lying underneath the peaks and cliffs created by the snowplows, and his vivid imagination goes to work. Could there be a black bear and her cubs sleeping inside a snow cave? Could a ship be locked in ice, or might dwarves and elves be mining frozen rubies and emeralds? Sammy continues to speculate about what might lie beneath the white blanket covering the earth.

Alas, the snow gradually begins to melt away. When his mother asks him what he is doing in the midst of the watery slush, our young protagonist dreamily replies, “Imagining grass.” We know that Sammy will continue to conjure up lovely thoughts in his quest to understand his world.

Joan Clark has written a gentle tale which celebrates the magic of winter and the power of the imagination. The lilt of the words make this an ideal read-aloud for young children who readily identify with Sammy. Clark’s text is well complemented by Kady MacDonald Denton’s splendid and uninhibited illustrations. Her watercolor and ink, oil stick and charcoal drawings capture the ethereal atmosphere of an enchanted land covered in snow. The northern lights, icebergs, igloos and other wintery subjects are portrayed with flair and energy. Snow will melt your heart!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2006. Vol.29 No. 4.

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  • Long-listed, SYRCA Shining Willow Award
  • Short-listed, CLA Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award
  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Commended, Bank Street College Children's Library Best Children's Books of the Year
  • Winner, Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award
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Winner of the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Award

Snow falls all day. Snow falls all week. Snow falls all month!

Sammy's world is a blanket of white. As he clambers up the heaps and mountains of snow, he imagines what might lie beneath -- whales and seals, a black bear and her cubs, or could there be elves mining rubies and emeralds? Finally, the weather turns warm and the snow begins to melt, and Sammy finds a green surprise.

In this simple, atmospheric book, author Joan Clark and illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton create a paean to that magical substance that enchants the eyes of children in winter.

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Contributor notes

Joan Clark is the author of many award-winning books for children and adults and has received numerous accolades for her children's novels and picture books. She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.Kady MacDonald Denton is one of Canada's most highly regarded children's book illustrators. Recognition for her work has included receiving the Governor General's Award. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario.

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Editorial Reviews

...this delicate fantasy will please many young snow fans.

— Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

The watercolour illustrations are beautiful and significantly enhance the story...An enchanting book by both an award-winning author and an award-winning illustrator.

— Childhood Education Magazine

The Clark-Denton take on the subject is such that most mortals - young or old - reading this book will long for the advent of winter.

— Globe and Mail

...the author uses several wonderful turns of phrase which give this book a poetic feel and make it a pleasure to read aloud.

— CM Magazine

...lyrical, imaginative and repetitive, full of fun and dreams.

— Resource Links

...a joyful collaboration that seems as effortless as falling snow...Kady MacDonald Denton packs tremendous energy and verve into her delightful and colourful illustrations.

— Quill & Quire
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Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

About the Authors

Joan Clark

Joan Clark was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. She writes novels, short fiction, and novels for young adults. She has won numerous awards, including the Marian Engel Award, the Canadian Authors' Association Literary Award, the Mr. Christie Award, and the Jeffrey Bilson Award. Her most recent novel is Latitudes of Melt (2000). She lives in St. John's, Newfoundland.
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Kady MacDonald Denton

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