BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: The Snowbear (available here)
Author: Sean Taylor
Illustrator: Claire Alexander
Publisher: Quarto Publishing
Publication Date: October 2018
Reviewed By: Chris Whitney, Literacy Consultant
What a delight for young children as they meet Iggy and Martina waking up on a snowy day! The excitement on Iggy’s face is palpable as he looks out of his window and sees snow. More snow. The children have fun making a snowman, but realise that it looks more like a Snowbear….and this is where the story develops into something of a mysterious fantasy for young readers to explore.
Not heeding their mother’s warning, the children find themselves sledging down, down, down into the forest where a wolf awaits them. Who could possibly save them? A Snowbear? The next day the snow has melted and Snowbear cannot be seen. Has he melted? Or has he returned to the woods? A set of footprints on the final page leave the reader to decide for themselves.
The illustrations work alongside the words to paint a clear picture of the two human characters, the Snowbear and the wintry setting. There is much to discuss from the illustrations alone, as the children descend into the woods. The cold of the winter’s day is mirrored in the colour palette used by the illustrator and the dark wood is reflected in the use of bold dark lines giving way to the blues and whites as the Snowbear arrives to save the children. The language is simple and the vocabulary appropriate for younger readers.
I loved the secret of the Snowbear - it’s a secret that the children alone share in. Mother simply believes the Snow bear has melted. But we know differently, don’t we?
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Chris Whitney for reviewing it.