Friday, January 15, 2010

Toby and the Snowflakes by Julie Halpern

Some books just make sense to me and I loved this book.  It's like the meaning of life in a picture book.  Most kids don't know it when you read it to them but some kids get the bigger picture.  This is the kind of book you could use for all ages because its simple message of friendship resonates with all.
 Toby and the Snowflakes
by Julie Halpern
illustrated by Matthew Cordell
(husband and wife writing team)

Toby's best friend has moved away yesterday and he is sad.  He's left only with his friend's baseball glove.  When he goes outside (after bundling up with scarf, hat, mittens and coat) to check the mailbox one snowflake drifts by (a magical chance meeting)  The snowflake introduces himself and Toby proceeds to make some new, albeit cold friends.  A day later when the snow begins to melt and the snowflakes give Toby a simple life lesson...  "We snow, we disappear, we come back again.  It is the nature of the snowflake."  Nature of the snowflake, indeed it is the nature of all living things-the meaning of life!!

 This book is a treasure and if you have little ones still at home, go get it from the book store or the library and read it tonight while there is still snow on the ground.  Thank you to Julie and Matthew for an life-affirming picture book!!  While searching around on Cordell's website I see he has illustrated quite a few other books including Trouble Gum, another new favorite of mine.  Check out his website here and his wife, Julie Halpern's here. She is a fellow elementary librarian and they live in Chicago.  This is their first book together but I'm hoping for many more!! 

I read this all week with pre-k through 2nd grade and I could have read it to all classes and had them get something out of it.  We discussed The Main Idea of the story: friendship and why it is a fiction book: the snowflakes speak to Toby-big red flag:) I paired it with another great snow book; Snow Sounds by David A. Johnson.  I can't believe Toby was published in 2004 and it is now, let's see, 2010 but I guess the time was right!!  Great, great book!!!

Happy Reading!!