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The Adventures of Snowwoman

by Katya Arnold, reteller
Illustrated by Katya Arnold

Published by Holiday House, 1998
32 pages
ISBN: 0-8234-1390-X

Ages 3-6

The children have decorated the neighborhood--all but a tree. No tree? Unthinkable. After writing a letter to Santa, they create Snowwoman using an abundance of the white stuff plus seven shiny apples (necklace), a carrot (long nose), and a stewpot (hat). Snowwoman is an unlikely emissary to carry their letter, but smiling benevolently she accepts the mission and sets off into the scary woods with Buddy the dog. During a blizzard they become "lost as lost could be." A quarreling Rabbit and Fox become part of the frigid ensemble's adventures. The intrepid little band is joined by Magpie and then by Bear, who leaves hibernation to help deliver the letter. According to Arnold's background note, her lively reworking of Vladimir Suteev's story "The Conifer" shifts the traditional Russian tree trimming from New Year's Eve to December 24. She writes that Snowwoman and other characters from the popular Snow family of Russian folklore appear in Russian stories and films and even in Rimsky-Korsakov's opera "The Snowmaiden." Suteev was a successful Russian artist, writer and movie director who released the first of more than 30 animated films in 1931. Arnold is a Moscow-schooled artist now living in New Jersey whose affection for Suteev's story is evident in the broad strokes of her full-color images, her energetic child characters, her zany woodland cohort, and--most of all--her heroine. Snowwoman is an unforgettably cheerful, brave, bumbling, and likeable heroine who gets the job done with a little help from her many friends. CCBC categories: Seasons and Celebrations.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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