Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888

City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888

Linda Oatman High
Illustrator:  Laura Francesca Filippucci 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 4 to 8
Walker Books for Young Readers, 2004   ISBN: 978-0802789105

Spring is just around the corner and it is a wet Sunday in March. A little girl and her parents are spending the day indoors after dashing through the rain after church. All the little girl can think about is going to Barnum's wonderful circus the next. By the next day though the rain has turned to snow and the whole of New York City is white, it is so very cold and there is so much snow that everything has stopped. There are no trains, no horses, no people, in fact there seems to be nothing ""but snow"" outdoors.

Despite the dreadful conditions the little girl manages to persuade her parents to take her to P.T. Barnum's show and it certainly lives up to its reputation even if a terrible storm is raging outside.

Through the eyes of a little girl we get to experience one of the fiercest storms to hit the east coast of the United States. We hear about how food becomes scarce, how the snow piles up in huge drifts, how transport comes to a halt and how people did their best to stay warm and safe and busy during the days when the blizzard buffeted the houses and sent signs, hats and scarves skimming across the roof tops.

Unique watercolor and pastel illustrations combined with Linda Oatman High's simple yet graphic free verse make this a very special picture book. An author's note at the back of the book provides further information about the ""Great White Hurricane.""