Father Christmas

GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1973

Father Christmas

by Raymond Briggs

Hamish Hamilton, 1973

28 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: Christmas, Santa Claus, winter, comic books/graphic novels

Also by this author: Father Christmas Goes on Holiday, The Snowman, The Mother Goose Treasury, Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age and his Search for Soft Trousers

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Top 5: Books about Snow

Dang. I know I promised the Part 2 Poetry List: 3 and up this week (Poetry for the under-3s here), but I’m still reading and picking books for that one. However, I was inspired by the little bit of snow we had this week to create a list of books celebrating the cold white stuff, all sides of it – from recreation to fantasy to science. (I’ve written on each of these books more fully – click on the title to read the full review.)

1. The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats – age 2+

A small boy explores a snowy world. (Available at amazon.com)

2. The Story of the Snow Children, by Sibylle von Olfers – age 2+

High fantasy – a girl goes to visit the Snow Queen in her ice castle. (Available at amazon.com)

3. White Snow Bright Snow, by Alvin Tresselt/Roger Duvoisin – age 3+

Snow comes to town and everyone reacts to it in their own way… some shovel, some play. (Available at amazon.com)

4. The Big Snow, by Berta and Elmer Hader – age 3+

Animals and birds adopt many strategies to survive the winter. (Available at amazon.com)

5. Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin – age 5+

True story about the man who invented a way to photograph snowflakes. (Available at amazon.com)

The Snowy Day

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1963

The Snowy Day

by Ezra Jack Keats

New York: Viking Press, 1962

28 pp.

Ages: 2 +

Interests: snow, winter,

Also by this author: Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, Goggles!

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The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush  (1925)

Written, directed by, starring: Charlie Chaplin

Rated:  — (unrated)

Length:  95 min. 1925 release / 72 min. 1942 re-release

Age: 5 and up          Commonsense Media sez: 8 +

Scary Factor: Little Tramp menaced periodically for comedic effect; two men struggle over a shotgun which is always pointing at the Tramp; he is also chased by starving, hallucinating miner with a gun and then an axe; cabin tipped precariously on edge of precipice; all threats are treated comically and violence is bloodless and kept at a distance

Intense Scenes: a wanted criminal shoots and kills two police officers before perishing in an avalanche

Other: a bear is shot offscreen for food; some smoking and drinking

Interests: old movies, silent movies, arctic adventure, history

Versions: restored 1925 print is 95 minutes long, with piano music and title cards; 1942 sound release is 69 minutes long, has an orchestral score, no title cards, narration written and performed by Charlie Chaplin

Next: other Chaplin – Modern Times, City Lights

See also: Top 5 Silent Movies for Preschoolers
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The Story of the Snow Children

The Story of the Snow Children

by Sibylle von Olfers

first published in 1905 in Germany

English translation by Polly Lawson – Edinburgh: Floris Books, 2005

20 pp.

Ages: 2 +

Interests: fairies, princesses, snow, winter, parties, magic

Also by this author: The Story of the Root Children (1906), Princess in the Forest (1909), and The Story of the Wind Children (1910)

You might also like: Peter in Blueberry Land (1901) – very similar in story, style and look

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Snowflake Bentley

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER – 1999

Snowflake Bentley

By Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Illustrations by Mary Azarian

New York: Scholastic, 1998

30 pp.

Age: 5+

Interests: snowflakes, snow, biography, science, scientists, photography, nature

Also about W. A. Bentley: My Brother Loved Snowflakes by Mary Bahr

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One Snowy Night

One Snowy Night

by Nick Butterworth

London: Collins, 1989

24 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: animals, winter, bedtime

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The Big Snow

CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNTER – 1949

The Big Snow

Berta and Elmer Hader

New York: Macmillan, 1948

43 pp.

Ages: 3 +

Interests: animals, birds, seasons, nature, snow, winter

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White Snow Bright Snow


CALDECOTT WINNER – 1948

White Snow Bright Snow

Alvin Tresselt, author

Roger Duvoisin, illustrator

New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1947

27 pp.

Ages: 3 +

Interests: winter, snow, seasons

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The Snowman

Raymond Briggs

London: Puffin, 1978

30 pp

Age: 3 and up

Interests: Christmas, winter, snow, magic

By the same author/illustrator: Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogeyman, UG: Boy Genius of the Stone Age, and books for older audiences: When the Wind Blows, and Ethel and Ernest

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.