Two snowflake siblings ("One was large and one was small, / One wore fleece and one wore lace") embark on big adventures in J. Patrick Lewis's rhyming picture book. Blown by "a mighty night wind," they accompany Santa on his toy deliveries, watch the ball drop at Times Square, almost get squished on 42nd Street, and finally land in Central Park.
"Along the sidewalk drifts and peaks,
They had a ball for weeks and weeks!"
In The Snowflake Sisters, Lewis tells a companionable story, well-suited for a preschool 4s class and young readers, although the Christmas references may limit its audience somewhat. I enjoyed the cleverness of the poet's concept—the passage of winter as related by two observant ice crystals—and especially liked Lisa Desimini's paper-collage illustrations. They're a joy: she uses a wide variety of colors and textures, fragments of subway maps and New York Times headlines, and clips from the New York Post and New York magazine. Creative and inspiring, her pictures may prompt young artists to scissor up the local newspaper and make some wintry scenes themselves.
When it started snowing yesterday, our friend the kindergarten teacher and her class ran outside with black construction paper and magnifying glasses so that they could examine the snowflakes. Our friend recommends putting the paper in the freezer if you get a chance beforehand, so that the flakes last longer; the black background makes it easier to see them. In Lewis's book, the sisters stay around until "the splendor-ender, Spring," but winter makes a promise that it will bring them back again next year.
Our snow has melted this morning, but I hope the snowflake sisters pass by here again. We will be waiting. The paper is in the freezer!
P.S., If you want a subway map of your own, visit New York's Metropolitan Transit Authority.
Kelly, at Big A little a, rounds up all the Poetry Friday posts today.