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4.7 out of 5 stars
Katy and the Big Snow (Vol 2)
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Readers familiar with Virginia Lee Burton will know her penchant for bringing inanimate objects to life. This is a wonderful addition to those books, perfect for young children between the ages of 2 and 6. This story was a favorite in my household when I was a child, much to the dismay of my mother who wished we would select anything else for a change! (She got sick of reading it more than once a week) ^_^

The star of this book, in case anyone hasn't guessed, is a tractor named Katy who is a bulldozer in the summer and a snowplow in the winter in the city of Geopolis. Geopolis could be any small city. When a huge blizzard leaves several feet of snow behind, it is up to Katy to save the day, getting everyone where they need to go in Geopolis. As the only vehicle that hasn't been stopped by the snow, Katy must prove her toughness and sense of duty by spending the whole day clearing the streets, earning a satisfying and well-needed rest at the end of the story. That's really the whole story. Sound a bit uneventful? Well, yes. There's never a doubt that Katy will succeed in her task. There isn't a great deal of interaction with human characters besides getting them where they are going. So for a child who wants a complex plot more along the lines of MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL, they may be disappointed. But, as I said, this book was a favorite in my house, and there were several reasons why.

Repetition: stories for younger children with regularly repeated phrases like this one are worthwhile to the listener, if not always the reader. Throughout the book the main line-`"Follow me," said Katy'--is repeated every time Katy happens across more citizens in need. Children will soon be providing that line on their own in the course of the story. Maps: This was my first real introduction to maps, and it's a great tool for enabling your child to understand how maps work as they follow Katy's route through Geopolis. They can trace her path on the page, and find the places she's headed to or hasn't plowed out yet. You can begin to discuss concepts of North, South, East and West with them, and maybe even break out maps of your own city or town for their perusal and comparison. The pictures are simply drawn with lovely borders, and their young audience easily understands them. Snow: It's a great introduction to what can happen during a snowstorm and the kind of trucks needed to clear the way. It's a crisis without ever being a scary crisis for kids and still addresses the problems of a blizzard-getting a patient to the hospitals, getting the firemen to a fire, getting the kids to school.

For the most part, I don't recommend this book for older children. Even five and six year-olds might have outgrown this, unless they're reading the book on their own. But it's a great book to read to younger children, especially if you live in a snowy clime! If this is your first experience with this author, I highly recommend you check out MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL and THE LITTLE HOUSE.

Happy Reading! Shanshad ^_^
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
For some reason it always surprises me a little that my older son loves classic children's books like this one so much. It shouldn't---they are classics for a reason! This book has so many great little details---the map of the town, the images of the town slowly being opened up to activity by being plowed out, and of course the train and tracks which makes the book for my son! He loves the idea also that Katy is tired at the end of the big day---it's started real discussions about whether machines can really be tired, and I think helped him understand how authors can fictionalize things to give you a feeling for the themes and ideas in a book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
At 51 years of age and very recently a first time grandfather with the aid of Amazon.com I started searching for my favorite stories from decades ago. All of Dr.Suess and the Little Engine That Could to Thorton Burgess's many publications that make me smile so many years later. Of all my past memories Katy and the Big Snow was one that I checked out of our local Library at least 3 times a month. It taught me that determination is most important in acheiving goals and that good things come to those who wait and endure. These are the types of books our younger generation should be reading instead of what is available on television these days. I hope someday my Grandchildren will come to enjoy this book as I have.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2011
Format: Board book
What do you give a modern boy or girl to read that breaks the stereotype that machines are masculine and princesses and kittens are feminine?

Katy and the Big Snow is the answer to your Christmas, holiday, and general book-purchasing needs! In the tradition of Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, Katy is a non-anthropomorphic but named bulldozer who harnesses her amazing strength to save the town of Geoppolis from a terrible blizzard. When the truck-mounted snow plows try but fail, Katy is taken out of storage and leads the town out of imminent peril. This is Virginia Lee Burton at her absolute best, and I can only guess that she didn't receive a Caldecott when Katy was published in 1943 because Little House had just won it the year before. Tiny, detailed drawings dominate the page and reward the careful reader who takes the time to examine each one. Residents of a burning house toss tiny furniture from their windows. Skiiers tumble down hills. An almost taxonomic study of portable generators, steam shovels, dumptrucks, and all their kin ring the border of a page. Illustrations that are afterthoughts in this book would be the highlight of any other.

The best of all is a two-page spread with a small drawing of Katy in the upper corner and otherwise bare pages: this is Katy plowing through untouched, blanketing snow. It's a brave illustration and bold even now.

The entire book evokes feelings of both heroism, bravery, and coziness. It's the perfect book for anyone who enjoys snuggling up in a snowstorm, and the perfect medicine for little boys who refuse to read about anything but trucks and other little boys. Katy is a feminist before her time and a necessary companion to any purchase of Mike Mulligan.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I ordered this book for my son for his 7th b'day. He loves anything to do with transportation, and discovered Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel first. He checked that book out of the school library every week for more than a month, then I helped him find Katy and the Big Snow, and he loved it just as much. I remember enjoying these books when I was a child, and I think it is wonderful that books like these still bring enjoyment to the children today.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
when i was 6 or so i would ride my bike to the library and just read this book. i had all but forgotten about it when i saw it in a store the other day. about 25 years later i think i see some lessons i learned from katy. i also remeber fondly, the giving tree and where the wild things are, as well as schoolhouse rock as positive mental stimulants.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is still one of my favorite children's books. I remember asking my mother to read this book over and over again to me. It didn't matter whether it was summer or winter, it was my favorite book! This will be a book I will pass on to my children.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought this to replace the falling-apart copy from my own childhood. It's the same beautiful story and magical artwork from the original, which I love. However, the cover is not as it appears in the product image: it is marred by an ad promising stickers inside. Also, the cover has a sandpaper-like texture made of white and colored glitter. Inside, many of the pages have artwork that should extend to near the edge of the pages, but due apparently to sloppy layout or printing, the artwork is actually cut off. At the back is a page of stickers, not mentioned anywhere in the amazon review or product description. Consequently, your book will probably (if your child has the common propensity to match up similar things) soon be covered in stickers, which in the long run reduces its beauty and attractiveness to children and adults. If you can afford it, I recommend not buying this version. Instead, try to get a good condition used copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
If you have a little tractor lover in your house, or just big machines, this book is a must. But, it's also cute for girls too - I read and loved it as a child too. I don't agree with the above write up - comparing it to "The Little Engine That Could." Katy just loves to work and knows that it's up to her alone to dig out the City of Geoppolis from under the blizzard. All the snow plows break down under the weight of the snow, which is up to second story windows, and she saves a patient, a house and even the electric, water and gas lines. What's totally neat, even though they say this is for four-year-olds, is that there are maps throughout the book of the town of Geoppolis which is really fantastic. All throughout the story, it gives directions as to which side of town Katy is digging. So, they show a map, give a number and children can find exactly where she is in the story. It's just a very neat way to introduce kids to map reading at a very early age. There's even a large map in the center of the book of the entire town, each site is numbered and the legend is surrounding the two centerfold pages. What an educational book this really is! It just isn't about a tractor and snow! Great, great book and a true favorite in our house.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My 3 yr old loves this book. We are big fans of Burton and this is one of her best. It also comes with stickers.
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