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4.8 out of 5 stars
Snowmen All Year
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I loved Snowmen at Night (2002) and Snowmen at Christmas (2005), the two previous snowmen books by Caralyn (author) and Mark (illustrator) Buehner. They are, quite possibly, the books my grandchildren most often request (after all-time #1 Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, of course) and ones I never tire of reading to them. Because it's been five years since the publication of Snowmen at Christmas I thought we might have seen the last of this series, so I was thrilled to find that the Buehners' had created a new one!

In Snowmen at Night, a young boy, noting how the snowman he built seems differently shaped the morning after being created, imagines the wonderful games snowmen play during the night while humans sleep. Similarly, in Snowmen at Christmas, he imagines how snowmen might celebrate the holiday. The Buehners' again follow this successful idea in Snowmen All Year. This time, though, a child day-dreams about having his snowman with him year-round and imagines all the things they would do together if that were the case. The adventures he plans are simple pleasures - kite flying and swimming, a day at the beach, one at the zoo and another at an amusement park, firefly chasing and camping out under the stars. These are things my grandchildren have done with friends and relatives - even with me! - and I think that commonality will connect them more deeply with the story, helping to make it another favorite.

The rhyming verse is simple and pleasant, but it is the artwork that really shines here. The glowing colors and expressive faces are joyous and warm, engaging children and adults alike. My favorite pictures have the snowman blowing out the candles on a birthday cake (the cheeks!) and contemplating his next move in a game of chess, chin propped in mittened hands. Adding to the fun, hidden pictures are incorporated into the artwork and children will enjoy searching for ducks, rabbits, cats and dinosaurs. A good many snowmen also hide in these pages - some peeking out from behind buildings or trees, others shaped in clouds or found in the space between them.

The snowmen books are, simply put, great fun to read and a delight to look at. I'd love to have a dozen more from Caralyn and Mark Buehner but, for now, I'll content myself with the three they've given us. I look forward to sharing this newest one often with children I love.

Very highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
We have, and love, the two previous Snowmen books (Snowmen at Night and Snowmen at Christmas), and we are currently enjoying this newest, Snowmen All Year, as well -- but if you don't have the opportunity to see the book in person, I wrote this review to say that this book has a very different feel.

A few thoughts:
Illustrations
There is not a single page in any of the books that I wouldn't put up on my wall for decoration. Snowmen are cute in general, but these illustrations take it to a new level (and no, I don't think the book covers even begin to do justice to richness of the illustrations inside). But I do feel like the "Night" and "Christmas" are just a little deeper, more magical, filled with a longing almost akin to an adult reminiscing of his childhood imaginings. In contrast, Snowmen All Year seems to me thoroughly child centric. Which is great -- it's a book for kids! But as an adult looking at the pictures, which are so bright, the color so deeply saturated, it feels more like a typical kid's book (well, if typical kid's books had this quality of illustrations!). Of course, the illustrations fit the story perfectly, but still...5 stars for the illustrations compared to other books out there, but compared to the first two books, I honestly was a little disappointed.

Text
When I first read Snowmen at Night, it nearly brought me to tears -- it so perfectly captures a child's dreaming up why his/her snowman's "grin is crooked, or he's lost a little height..." the next day. Snowmen at Christmas similarly concludes that the overnight Christmas frolicking results in "their smiles are more tender, their eyes softly shine...". The text in both is so beautiful, it feels like a poem (I actually enjoy listening to these in the car -- Audible sells the audio book).
Snowmen All Year reads like a kid's book. An imaginative book, to be sure, taking your young listener through activities like trick-or-treating and roller-coaster riding and kite flying. But for me, the text lacks that compelling mature element of the first two books. Is this a criticism? No, not really. I do not enjoy reading this newest installment for myself, BUT that is balanced by the fact that my almost 4 year old usually picks this one first. And after thinking about it, that makes sense. Each page has just a couple short lines of text, and the story line is very concrete, with more action verbs and less descriptive poetic language than the previous books. The text per page is less than the previous books as well, and each page illustrates a very distinct event.

To illustrate, I just want to share a quick sample of text from each book, and I think you'll see why it's easier for the younger-end of the audience to relate to this newest book.

"Snowmen at Night"
I think that snowmen start to slide
(when it gets really dark)
off the lawn and down the street--
right into the park.

"Snowmen at Christmas"
I think that while I'm snug in bed
Dreaming of Christmas treats,
The merry snowmen slip away
And hurry through the streets

"Snowmen All Year"
I'd teach him how to fly a kit
High above the trees;
(next page)
Then we would dig for pirate gold
Or sail the seven seas.

In all -- I completely recommend all three books, but if you're only thinking of getting one or two (and you're not dealing with a really little kid), I'd go for Snowmen at Night first, then Snowmen at Christmas. Just my thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 3 year old granddaughter loves this book and so do I. The basis of the story deals with what a snowman would do it were made of magic snow and could be around all year. As it moves through each season the pictures are fun, beautiful, and so peaceable to view. There are two little ducks in each picture to find and also a tiny little snowman. Very fun. There are creative cloud silhouettes to discover, also. The story rhymes and is a quick read for those nights when reading time is limited. I highly advocate all the Snowmen books. What Snowmen do at Night is totally delightful and, again, beautifully illustrated. It's my favorite.
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on December 18, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Where has this author been all my life? We have just discovered these Snowman books (all the ones we can find in this series!) and we absolutely adore them! The stories are so cute and fun, and the illustrations are REALLY good! They are paintings, and they are absolutely beautiful...truly spectacular...the books are worth owning just for the artwork! The way the painter uses colour is amazing, and the actual scenes painted are so picturesque...also, there is the fun element for my kids of finding the hidden pictures on each page. We love these books and will be recommending them to everyone we know for years to come. I'm planning to bring all of the ones we've purchased with us to my Mother's for Christmas, to read to my 11 nieces and nephews (all aged 9 and under), as I know they will be so popular!
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on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book, along with the two previous, are absolutely gorgeous and a lot of fun to read! The rhyming is perfect without being annoying and the illustrations are breathing taking and bright. My girls and I love this book because of all the fun things the snowman does during the summer - like a roller coaster, fireworks and camping out! We like Snowmen at Christmas because of the amazing colors! The strings of lights practically come right off the page. And we like Snowmen at Night because it engages the imagination with all the fun things to do in the winter. These are just great books and we couldn't pick a favorite if we had to! (though the scenes in Snowmen All Year are especially spectacular!) Get all three, your kids will love them!
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on January 14, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I liked the other books in this series, but I love this one! It is my favorite of all of them. All the children with whom I have read it love it too. If I were a teacher, I would read it with my school children and then let them do a creative writing assignment about what they would do with a magic snowman that could stay with them all year. My only criticism is that it states that certain hidden pictures can be found on every page. Some are pretty easy to find, but on some pages I don't really think they are all there! (Maybe it's just me......) You don't really read the book for the hidden, pictures, though.
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on January 6, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I liked the concept that snowmen leave their yards and play and do other things, very imaginative. I own all of the books in the series, and the illustration colors are vivid. There is not a lot of text, so the reading goes pretty quickly, suitable for toddlers. We spend more time talking about what we see on each page. There are some hidden pictures in each one, mentioned on the last page of the book. I confess, I did not spot them while reading the books to my granddaughter the first time. The other titles I have are SNOWMEN AT NIGHT and SNOWMEN AT CHRISTMAS. Highly recommended.
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on December 22, 2014
Format: Board bookVerified Purchase
We love all of the Snowmen books by Caralyn Buehner. This one is our daughters favorite. She has a great time pointing out the ducks and small snowman hidden in every scene. It's beautifully illustrated.

The words themselves are written with a lovely flow. It's one of our favorite books at bedtime. So much so that after our daughter damaged our first copy, we purchased a second one.
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on December 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover
If only snowmen could be with us all year long! A boy imagines all the fun he could have with a snowman if only the snowman could last the whole year.

With almost luminescent pictures and fun rhymes and just the right amount of absurdity.

"We'd go on all the wildest rides
At the amusement park,
But best of all would be the fireworks
Lighting up the dark."
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on January 12, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Originally bought the Snowmen at Christmas book and my girls loved it! Got this one to read just as a bedtime story tonight and was disappointed to see that there were a few key words not even spelled out... Fireflies was e lies... Overall a good book if you can improve just figured it would be a no brainier to have every word spelled out properly in the book....
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