I'm going to build a snowman

Jashar Awan

Book - 2023

A young child sets out to build the best snowman ever.

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Picture books
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2023.
Main Author
Jashar Awan (author)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 27 cm
Ages 4-8.
Grades K-1.
Contents unavailable.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

When an adorably compact child shown with brown skin awakens to find snow falling outside, they react excitedly. "MOM!" the child yells, nose in the curtains next to a wall decorated with the hand-drawn image of a smiling snowperson. Now they can build "THE BEST SNOWMAN EVER!" Starting with what seems like a quiet hat tip to the simple forms of Ezra Jack Keats, Awan (Strum and Drum) renders comic strip--like action as the child bundles up ("ziiiip... fwump") and heads outside. In fanciful monochromes, an instructional interlude ("Start by rolling a snowball until it becomes a perfect circle") leads to a dreamy sequence in which a picture-perfect snowperson becomes a song-and-dance partner before the two "fly off into the clear night sky." Back on the ground, the real building starts, resulting in a lopsided figure before it's "time to decorate!" A page turn reveals a snowperson that's significantly different from the ideal, but after making a single adjustment, the child is satisfied with "MY BEST SNOWMAN YET." The sunny protagonist accepts their creation in all its reality, and readers can, too, in this exploration of a maker who gleefully accepts their own work. Ages 4--8. (Sept.)

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Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1--A young boy wakes up on a snowy morning, excited to get outside to build the "best snowman ever!" He knows it will take three perfectly round snowballs, one on top of the other, plus a top hat, a carrot nose, and sticks for arms. He imagines his snowman coming to life, and in an homage to Raymond Briggs's beloved picture book The Snowman, the boy and the snowman even take off on a magical flight above the trees. Of course there's perfection, and then there's reality, and the boy's snowman isn't quite the creation he had imagined. No matter; he adds one last detail, a smile, and is happy with the result. Large readable text is limited to a few words per page, making the vibrantly colored digital illustrations effectively carry the story line forward. Kids will delight in fun onomatopoeia such as "pullll, pushhh, ziiiip, fwump" as the boy gets dressed, and "sssslump" as the snowman starts to tilt over. The boy is depicted with light brown skin. VERDICT Speaking of classics, why not bring in Ezra Jack Keats's The Snowy Day, too, and have a joyful story hour to remind kids that efforts, not results, count, and snow is a glorious break from everything.--Sue Morgan

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A child decides to build "THE BEST SNOWMAN EVER!" One cozy morning, the brown-skinned, dark-haired youngster wakes up to discover that it's snowing outside. After donning a sweater, boots, coat, and hat (with a little help from Mom), the child rushes outside, bursting with visions of greatness. This snowman, the protagonist believes, will not only be easy to make, but it will also come to life and carry the child away, through the sky, into a magical adventure: "It will be a dream come true!" But after the child finishes rolling balls of snow and adding stick arms, the results are not quite as expected. Luckily, with a little imagination and a lot of heart, the child puts the finishing touches on this less-than-perfect creation that, despite its flaws, is still the best snowman ever. The book's spare, witty text pairs perfectly with the vibrant, exuberant illustrations. Awan makes great use of just a few words, layering in onomatopoeia that lends the lines a sense of momentum. Overall, this is a fun and meaningful read for little ones, though its message about the potential joy that can be found in imperfection is one that will resonate with readers of all ages. A simple but beautiful story about how little perfection matters. (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.