Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Katy and the big snow

Katy and the big snow

Virginia Lee Burton
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1974   ISBN: 0395185629

Katy is a red crawler tractor and she works for the Geoppolis Highway Department. In the summer months Katy wears a bulldozer blade on her front and in the winter months she has a snowplow. Unfortunately Katy is so big and strong that the Highway Department usually has very little use for her in the winter because there just isn't enough snow on the roads. And then, one morning, snow begins to fall, and fall, and fall. There can be no doubt that this is going to be "a Big Snow."

Huge snow drifts block the roads and the other snowplows break down under the strain. People cannot go anywhere and even the mail isn't getting through. Clearly it is time to bring Katy out to see what she can do in this dire emergency. Slowly and surely strong Katy sets about plowing her through the city to help the police, the postal workers, the telephone company and many others who are needed by the public.

Cunning illustrations border every page of this wonderful picture book with its loveable shiny red heroine. Here is a machine who keeps on going no matter how tired she gets. Here is a machine who can be relied on and who is an asset to the whole community. Tractor fans of all ages will fall for Katy with her large headlights and her "chug, chug, chug" engine.