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Snow by Sam UsherEvery child loves a snow day - no school and snowball fights galore! But Sam has to wait for his Grandad. Trying to hurry him up, Sam tells Grandad all the other kids have gone to the park...and all the local dogs...and all the zoo animals! Only when they finally arrive does Grandad see Sam was telling the truth - and both of them get stuck in having fun on their snow day!
's illustrations are full of life and energy; there's a comfortable looseness about them, and I cannot help but draw comparisons (in the best possible way) with Quentin Blake. Perhaps it is because the Grandfather in this story physically reminds me of Blake, with his bald pate and avuncular manner. But it's also in the noses, the wonky fingers, the hand gestures and I love this stylistic echo. Indeed I get a real kick from these potentially vulnerable pen lines that speak to me of a real person, drawing a line that connects creator, story, reader and listener together. With another contender for my favourite page turn of the year, showing how an almost plain white page can produce both gasps and a burst of warm delight, Snow is a wintry classic that will bring much delight and joy, however long you have to wait for it. Playing by the Book It is snow day, and fresh, crisp, undisturbed snow awaits right outside Sam's window in the silence that follows snowfall. But Sam has to wait for his granddad to get ready and he is taking far too long. Soon everyone is out and the snow is no longer still and smooth ... but that doesn't mean there is no fun to be had. It would be impossible to talk about this book without mentioning the incredible use of white space in Sam Usher's artwork, particularly as this is a large format picture book. This is a bold move but a very effective one which conveys wonderfully all the possibilities that snow has to offer, as if to say: the page is blank, make up your own adventure. And so Sam and his Granddad do, eventually, with a bit of imaginative magic thrown in. Usher's artwork has been described a lot as Quentin Blake-esque, in the best possible way, and it is easy to see why, in the lines particularly. But I think the use of colour is very different and very much his own, and the skies particularly are astonishingly beautiful. A wonderful tale of a special relationship between a boy and his grandfather, this might just be the perfect present if you know such a pair. -- Melanie McGilloway www.librarymice.com Despite what the Met Office may or may not have forecast, this book is guaranteed to turn December 25 into the White Christmas of your child's dreams. It manages to sum up all the fun and joy and silliness of a snow shower and the excitement it generates in small kids (and let's be honest, a few of us adults, too). There's actually nothing Christmassy about this book at all (so you can still read it after December 25 - result!) but at its heart is the close relationship between a young boy and his grandfather and their sheer delight in the snow they discover (with a few surprises along the way). An utter joy. -- DAMIAN KELLEHER www.dad.info Nothing is as tempting as freshly fallen snow - it just begs you to take that first squeaky, scrunchy step. So, when a small boy wakes up to a blanket of white, he almost explodes with frustration at the time his Grandad takes getting ready to go out. By the time they reach the park, they find an extraordinary selection of creatures have beaten them to it ... Usher captures perfectly the foot-hopping impatience of young children and the sheer joy to be had outdoors. His brilliantly imaginative story is so gorgeously illustrated (main picture), you'll find yourself praying for a blizzard. An absolute must for Christmas, whatever the weather. -- SALLY MORRIS The Daily Mail'
About the Author
More books by Sam Usher
1st October 2014
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