Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Perfect Snowman

A Perfect Snowman

Preston McDaniels
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2007   ISBN: 978-1416910268

There once was a boy who lived in a splendid house and who had the best of everything. One morning he woke up to discover that it had snowed in the night. As quickly as he could he got up and went outside and proceeded to make the best snowman he could. He used wonderfully round pieces of coal and “the finest” carrot he could find in the kitchen. He even borrowed his father’s best hat, scarf, and umbrella. By the time he was finished it was clear to everyone that the boy’s snowman was indeed “the finest snowman a small boy had every made” and everyone said so. The snowman stood and listened to what the people said about him until he became quite sure that he was, indeed, a very splendid fellow – a “perfect” snowman.

At last night fell and everyone left the snowman to go inside their homes. The snowman was all alone for a while until some rabbits came up to look at him. An old rabbit mother then dared to ask the snowman if he would be willing to share some of his “old carrot” with her and her children. The snowman immediately lost his temper. How dare the rabbit suggest that he give her his beautiful nose!

But then the snowman looked at the poor rabbit and her hungry little ones and he could not help feeling a little pity for them; reluctantly he gave them his nose. After all, he was such a “perfect” snowman that giving up his nose would not be such a loss.

Some time later a miserable looking alley cat turned up and begged the snowman to give him his hat and scarf. The cat was so cold and the hat and scarf would give him some shelter from the snow and chilly wind. Eventually the snowman gave the cat his hat and scarf with ill grace. How annoyed he was to be bothered by these troublesome animals!

Then a little girl came to him and this time something very strange happened to the snowman. Could it be that the snowman was changing in some way? Could it be that the little girl was not what she seemed?

Filled with magical illustrations rendered in sepia-colored pencil, this picture book beautifully shows that perfection on the outside is quite meaningless if one has an icy heart on the inside. Thankfully for the snowman he makes the right decisions and though he is not gracious in his giving at first, his heart does learn how to give with love eventually.