Friday, December 24, 2010

Snowmen All Year

I recently bought a fun book for my son by Caralyn and Mark Beuhner. It's the third in their "snowmen" series, that started with Snowmen at Night, (click link to read my blog post about it back in 2006) a fantastical look at what snowmen actually do at night while everybody is sleeping, which explains why they look all droopy and disheveled.

It's a fantastic book and still one of my favourite kids books, which Alexander and I enjoy re-reading regularly.

Their second book was Snowmen at Christmas, a look at how Snowmen celebrate Christmas.  It follows the same theme, exploring what happens in the Snowman's secret world and all the celebrations they engage in once the rest of the world is asleep.
The latest book in that series is called Snowmen All Year and is a fun return to the snowmen theme, but this time with a different approach.

Snowmen All Year
This time, while the art is as beautiful as in the first two books, the premise isn't a look into the secret snowmen world at night; instead, it wonders what it would be like if your snowman could be with you the entire year.

It's a beautiful book, again told in rhyming verse -- I initially bought it for Alexander to give it to him as a Christmas gift. But I couldn't resist giving it to him early, and it has been a story that we've enjoyed reading, and talking about, plenty of times.

All three books also contain images hidden within and blended into the scenery. Little snowmen, Santa, a cat, a dinosaur, a rabbit.  So, after reading them, there's still a lot of fun to be had trying to find the images. (Alexander makes it a point to find EVERY hidden picture every time we read the book)

Two of my more popular (ie, I've received the most reader emails and comments about) horror short stories involve snowmen. Though different takes and approaches on the same premise (the concept of the relative shortness of the season and the inevitable melting), both stories were well received and I'd always wondered if I would ever return to write another snowman story. After all, I'm from Northern Ontario - snow is practically in my blood.

My story "That Old Silk Hat They Found" is a story told from a snowman's point of view upon first waking up. It's a dark humour look at what it might more realistically be like for "Frosty" to come alive.  You can listen to the entire story for free by clicking this link.

"Ides of March" is another snowman story, this one told by a man who witnesses two snowmen in a stolen truck rushing around to rescue their kin and drive north to escape the approach of spring.  You can read the opening of the story by clicking here.  Very soon I'll be recording a reading of it and pushing that out into the world.

Of course, the concept of a snowman surviving beyond spring -- well that just opens up entire new possibilities for this writer. Hmmmmmm.....

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