Friday, January 21, 2011

Snow Day by Lester Laminack

I can't think of a better time to write about a book glorifying the snow day. As I write this, outside my door snow is falling. It might be enough to close a school, but probably not. I could use a snow day. Actually, I could use about a week of snow days right now. I used to be in love with snow. I thought of snow as water's magic form. Now, as an adult who has outgrown snowball fights, sledding, and happiness, I've learned that snow is the sky's way of creating manual labor for me. That doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the beauty of a snow day anyway, and that's what this book is all about.

I like Lester Laminack's picture books. I'm not crazy about his professional teaching books, but in the interest of total disclosure, I've never been crazy about reading professional teaching books in general. I understand their purpose and I've taken a lot from them, but there are better ways to spend a lazy afternoon. Anyway, among Laminack's body of work Snow Day stands out. The writing is easily identified with. It would easily appeal to a large audience. The surprise ending definitely gave me a laugh.

I think my favorite part of the story was the way that the illustrations blended with the writing to aid the storytelling. So many books have illustrations that just reiterate the text without advancing the story at all. It's a missed opportunity. This book really takes full advantage of its illustrations. Most of the humor is born from the irony found between illustrations and its accompanying text.

Overall, this is a great picture book for any time of year, but in these chilly months of the year it's a special treat. It's definitely worth the read.

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