Written by Tony Mitton & Illustratd by Diana Mayo
Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books – 1st October 2020
“Snow Ghost came shimmering out of the air,
searching for somewhere to settle but where?”
Beautifully wintry rhyming couplets flow so smoothly, that the words seem to float, drift and glide like gentle snowfall.
Snow Ghost is a wonderful concept for young children. The idea that the snow is a figure of a woman, almost like an angel who roams the wintery landscape and chooses to settle where there is safety, calm, laughter and joy is so enchanting. Snow is like a magical friend for children to play with and this is personified perfectly in the story.
Flying through the wintery skies, Snow Ghost roams, searching for a place to settle. She swoops gracefully over the twinkling lights of town and winds her way through a dense, tangled wood and to the top of the blustery hill. Then high up on the moors, she sees a small farm house and a little boy and girl playing. The winter air rings with their excited whoops and shouts and on hearing the children’s laughter, Snow Ghost knows she has found a place to call home. She breathes magic and sparkle into their play, swishing and swirling around them as they make snow angels .
The light begins to fade and it’s time for the weary children to stumble inside and fall into their beds, happily exhausted. While the children dream and shimmers of moonlight cast their glittering light, Snow Ghost lays down on the roof of the farmhouse to rest and the snowy landscape sleeps in contentment.
I am really eager to see a physical copy of the book to see the illustrations really shimmer and shine. I am sure there are going to be a few foil touches on the hardcover version that will make this book glisten like freshly fallen snow. I could see myself using the illustrations as a stimulus for some wonderful wintery artwork with my Year 1 class – I’m thinking watercolour washes, chalk pastels and a few carefully chosen sequin embellishments for added sparkle.
Just look at these end pages! These exquisitely detailed leaves appear throughout the book and they brought back lovely memories of the dried Lunaria or ‘Honesty’ leaves that used to be used on Winter displays when I was at primary school. It’s prompted me to look for some for my own classroom for the winter season and this book would be great beside them. I’m already getting excited about a small world set up to go with it – carefully chosen woodland animals, trees, a tiny farmhouse and miniature children.
With only 13 weeks to Christmas, this book would be a great addition to a seasonal collection, yet versatile enough to be used throughout winter as there are no references to Christmas in either the narrative or illustrations.
With thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Children’s Books for allowing me to review a digital copy of the book in advance of publication.