Score: 95/100 (9.5 out of 10)
Snowphie by Howie Groff is a beautiful, happy, lighthearted children's book about the journey of a little snowflake and his goose friend. This is the perfect little winter and Christmas book to read to your preschool classroom or to your children at bedtime.
First of all, we wanted to commend the style and the illustrations. The illustrations by Olya Bond have a unique character and quality of their own. They're beautiful in their own right. And this doesn't just include the art of the characters and the background, the text is textured in a really pretty and appealing way. There was never a time we looked at a page in this book and said, “that looks bad” or “that looks uninteresting.” Everything in this book looks inviting and everything in this book looks interesting.
This book really has a charm of its own. It just pulls you in and gives you a nice, gentle hug.
Another thing that's great about this book is the playful use of rhymes. Kids just love rhymes. They eat them up. It is always a little frustrating when, for whatever reason, children's authors resist using them. Instead, they go on long, complex diatribes about things that kids will probably not care about. Kids don't typically have the patience and attention-span for those things. This book doesn't have any of those problems. The language is colorful, fun, and rhythmic. Like a ball, it bounces here and there.
Snowphie is a physical for what she's intended to be: a feather in the wind. She is cute, adorable, and lovable. Young readers will adore her. Although she lacks a significant degree of physical agency, her influence comes from her charisma. Her kindness is infectious, and she is even able to wrangle in a prodigal, rogue goose who seems to find new life and purpose in befriending and helping Snowphie.
The two venture around, trying to find their place in the sun.
Goose proves to be a kind and considerate friend who even warns Snowphie that his journey and destination could be dangerous for her because of the increased heat.
This is a really lovely book that matches the quality of some of other great books we've seen, including Fixing Nick by this same amazing children's author.
Check it out on Amazon!