As flurries of snow whirled past my window I felt inspired to review this brilliant book by the talented duo, Richard Curtis (think Vicar of Dibley) and Rebecca Cobb. They have two books together now (The Empty Stocking is another fab picture book) and I can't wait to see what they come up with next!
Snow Day takes a look into that most complicated of relationships - that of the teacher and their pupil. Often difficult territory! Richard's charming characters, Danny and Mr Trapper, brilliantly demonstrate the familiar obstacles faced by all of us at some point in our school careers, be it as pupils or teachers.
The opening pages of this book are nothing short of magic, transporting it's readers into the story from the first page turn. This is largely thanks to Rebecca's talent as she weaves a spell with her paintbrush over the pages. Rebecca captures that wondrous silence that only those huge swirling flakes can bring - Raymond Briggs would be proud! There's no doubt that it is indeed a proper Snow Day (you know, the kind where there's just no point in even trying to leave the house).
Kids won't blink at the mention of emails, mobile phones and Facebook alerting the world to the arrival of the Snow Day and it's good to see this relevant information creeping in to children's stories - it makes it all the more real for the wee ones. (I can almost feel the eyes rolling.)
As is the nature of a typical Snow Day, everyone decides to stay at home for the day. Everyone but Danny and Mr Trapper, that is. Poor Danny has a whole day of misery to look forward to - Mr Trapper is his worst enemy! He just can't seem to get it right and he manages to annoy Mr Trapper at every turn. Just when we think all is lost, and that this will be the worst day in the history of school... the snow begins to work its magic on the pair.
Against the odds it seems that Danny and his nemesis share some common ground and it's delightful to see their friendship grow as they begin to understand one another. Rebecca's illustrations capture their joy and energy as they get up to all sorts of adventures in the snow, awakening that inner child in us all, who is desperate to clamber into the pages and start grabbing handfuls of freezing, wet snow. Kids will love looking through the illustrations for all the little extra details that I have come to expect from this marvellous artist (and indeed my story time group delighted in pointing them all out to me!)
It turns out the Snow Day is the best day Danny and Mr Trapper have ever had. But will their new found friendship survive the thaw? In this wintry tale Richard Curtis teaches us that life can throw surprises at us from unexpected places and that there's always more beneath the surface if you only take the time to look.
Little readers will be waiting for the next adventure with eager anticipation!