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The Snow Day Hardcover – January 1, 2009


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The Snow Day + Emily's Balloon
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Lexile Measure: 370L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545013216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545013215
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Snow has been falling all night, and when a small rabbit awakens, he learns that kindergarten is closed, his mother can't go to the store, and his father's flight home has been canceled. "Mommy, we are all alone in the world," he announces solemnly, and even though he's clearly safe and sound in an apartment with all the modern comforts, readers will understand his bittersweet feelings of isolation and solitude. Sakai (Emily's Balloon) takes a very different approach in these pages: focusing more on setting and mood than characterization, she turns each illustration into a vivid snapshot (Mommy on the phone with stranded Daddy, an outdoor hug before the dash back indoors). Against a palette of grays and muted colors, she uses the yellow of the rabbit's jacket or boots to focus the reader's gaze, and layers the paints to suggest the intimacy and coziness of the hearth, the eerie but irresistible starkness of a landscape transformed by snow. Ages 3–5. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-K—A five-year-old (rabbit) awakes one morning to discover that there will be no school, no daddy flying home today, and no going out outside—until the snow stops. Sakai clearly understands the predicament of being cooped up in an urban high rise: trying to stay entertained with games, constantly gazing out the window, being lured by the balcony. Her subdued palette and minimalist text suggest the blanketed sound produced by a heavy snowfall. Window-shaped frames with tight cropping contain the energy in the interior scenes; most exterior compositions bleed off the page—oh marvelous freedom! The layers of paint are applied to a black ground with a combination of wet and dry brushes, producing a convincing depth and texture; the darkness is a perfect foil for the cottony bright snowflakes. While the mother may appear overprotective about her bunny's health, she does relent when the snow stops, even though it is bedtime, and the pair enjoys a nocturnal adventure. The protagonist narrates in the first person; thus, the sentences are appropriately concise, yet with lovely rhythms and interesting details. (He ultimately makes snowballs and snow dumplings.) Atmospheric, tender, full of anticipation and satisfaction, this one will charm young children. In Leonid Gore's Danny's First Snow (S & S, 2007), a young rabbit, possessed of an active imagination, is encountering white creatures at every turn. Used together, the two books provide contrasting emotional and visual experiences of a universally beloved phenomenon (at least by young rabbits/children).—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Komako Sakai was born in Hyogo, Japan. After graduating from Tokyo's National University of Fine Arts and Music, Sakai worked at a kimono textile design company. She is currently one of the most popular author-illustrators in Japan. She is well known in the U.S. for In The Meadow (Enchanted Lion Books), Emily's Balloon, and The Snow Day.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Great illustrations and wonderful story!
Mark W. Schmitz
This book can be one of joy to a child or can be used as a cuddle up comfort one just as easily.
D. Fowler
Amazing that a book about such a cold snow could be so warm.
Carrie Mac

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
You know when a picture book is successful? When it can conjure up a feeling or a memory you didn't even know you had. I remember playing in the snow at night as a small child. The contrast of bright white snow lit by the streetlights, and the jet-black sky above. In my experience, picture books that deal with simple subjects generally have a hard road to hoe. They either are accused of glutting the market with more of the same, or they are so unique that they're told that they won't find their readership. I find it hard to believe that "The Snow Day" by Komako Sakai will share either of these fates, though. A Japanese import from the creator of the equally compelling and mesmerizing "Emily's Balloon", Sakai's title turns gray to gold. Any child who has ever watched flakes fall in rapid succession is going to get a kick out of this book. A title capable of finding the dreamlike beauty in stark reality.

When a little rabbit wakes up early one morning its mother assures it that there's no reason to get up. "Kindergarten's closed. It's been snowing all night, and the school bus got stuck." A snow day! But rather than be allowed to run outside, the rabbit's mother informs it that it will have to wait until the snowflakes stop falling. So together they play cards and watch the flakes fall from the balcony. At night the little rabbit is just about to go to bed when it realizes that the snow has stopped falling. So together, in the well-lit dark, the two of them go outside to play in the snow. They'll play again tomorrow, and tomorrow daddy (stuck in an airport) will be home, "because it stopped snowing.
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Format: Hardcover
The little bunny peeked up over the covers as his mother looked in on him. She told him that he could sleep in because Kindergarten had been closed due to snow. "It's been snowing all night, and the school bus got stuck." He jumped out of bed anxious to rush out and play in the snow, but his mother thought he might catch a cold and wanted him to wait. He snuck outside on the balcony to watch the snow and made a "little snow dumpling." The snow continued to come down and it looked like one of those inside days.

They played cards and there was so much snow that "Daddy's flight got canceled, and he couldn't get home." Mommy turned away from him and held a tissue to her lips in worry. The snow continued to swirl and activity in the city seemed to come to a standstill. "Mommy, we are all alone in the world." Night time came and it was time to get ready for bed. He realized that he had not been outside to play in the snow. Would Mommy agree to let him go outside and play even if it was dark out?

I loved the tone of this book. Both the text and the beautiful art work catch the gloominess and the worry of a snow day when school is closed and a parent cannot come home because a flight has been cancelled. Children are often forgotten when things are rushed or tense in the home as in the case of this absent Daddy, but this little bunny's Mommy understood and let her child do something to comfort him that normally would have been out of the question. Children often see snow days as fun days, but sometimes they are just the opposite. This book can be one of joy to a child or can be used as a cuddle up comfort one just as easily.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark W. Schmitz on March 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book for kids. My daughter loves to pull this book off the shelf when it's snowing out! Great illustrations and wonderful story!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KB on April 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best children's books ever, and the illustrations are absolutely exquisite. Reading this book with my 3 year old daughter is like stepping into a memory, a feeling; you can literally feel the snow, the moment, the silence, the closeness between mother and child. There are reviews on here that say it wasn't written for a child, but I can vouch that my daughter actually wants to meet these bunnies. When I told her that I might not be able to arrange that, she started to cry. She wants to "jump" into the book with them; she wants to look at the pictures and hear me read it over an over again. It's simple, magical, an universal. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on June 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Kiwi Magazine Review:
Gorgeous illustrations are the hallmark of this book about the timeless excitement of snow appearing and closing school. Unlike the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, this mama makes her child wait until the snow stops falling to go outside and play just before bedtime.

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