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Allen Morgan. Illustrated by Brenda Clark.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, l985.
unpaged, paper, $6.95.
ISBN 0-919964-78-8. cloth, $14.95. ISBN 0-919964-86-9. CIP.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7

Reviewed by Maryleah Otto.

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

A little girl builds a fine snowman only to have it destroyed by hungry animals and the approach of spring. She rebuilds him several times, makes a tent out of a blanket to shield him from the sun, and, when there is just a bit of snow left on the ground, she makes a miniature snowman and puts him in a plastic bowl under the porch. Finally, as spring arrives, she carries the bowl of melted snow into the house and freezes it. All summer she dreams of the day when she will see her beloved snowman once again. At the first heavy snowfall, she takes the lump of ice out of the freezer and rolls it into a new snowman to start the cycle all over again.

Allen Morgan has written a pattern story that is bound to strike a sympathetic chord in anyone, child or adult, who has ever watched a favourite snow sculpture dwindle from its wintry glory into a shapeless blob. The repetition of key phrases and incidents parallel the passing of time, as the seasons change from cold to hot and back to cold again. The language is trimmed to the bone, capturing the essence of a child's own view of a small corner of her world. There is no dialogue. The absence of other characters, apart from the animals, heightens the importance of the snowman to the little girl. Brenda Clark's full-page illustrations, so natural and colourful, complement the text perfectly. Sadie and the Snowman is a jewel of a book for Canadian children everywhere. It seems guaranteed to be a popular title for years to come. Also available in hard cover.

Maryleah Otto, Etobicoke P.L., Etobicoke, ON.
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