[review + giveaway] On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring by Buffy Silverman


On a chilly-dilly, boot-tapping, happy-making day, we’re delighted to share Buffy Silverman’s brand new picture book, On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring (Millbrook Press, 2020)!

What’s the weather like where you are? Are you buried under mounds of snow, down with a bit of cabin fever, or reveling in a February thaw?

Chances are good you’ve already been dreaming of spring, and if you live in our neck of the woods, have likely seen the first robins returning from their winter vacations.

All I know is it’s never too early to celebrate the arrival of warmer days as tiny buds appear, animals begin to stir, and slabs of ice slide down the roof. Let the great melt begin!

On a Snow-Melting Day is actually a cleverly crafted extended poem, with each line accompanied by a splendid color photo. Buffy has invited us on a fun, illuminating, multi-sensory lakeside amble featuring plants, birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and the star of the show — water — in all three of its forms.

Her spare, inventive verse captivates the reader from the opening lines, setting the stage for whimsical wordplay and fascinating scenarios.




On a drip-droppy,
snow-melting day . . .

Squirrels cuddle.
Snakes huddle.
Clouds break.
Salamanders wake.
Icicles drip.
Chickadees sip.



Making brilliant use of literary devices (alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance) along with rhyming couplets powered by vivid action verbs, Buffy informs, surprises and delights. Who doesn’t love saying, “drip-droppy” and “slip-sloppy”? Or seeing adorable squirrels asleep in a cuddle?

I love the sensory appeal of her crackerjack noun-verb adjectives. Can’t decide whether “plink-plonking,” “hawk-squawking,” or “puddle-sploshing” is my favorite, but I can hear it, feel it, see it — such spot-on energy and immediacy, like a burst of flavor in a small bite. πŸ™‚



The close-up photos allow us to appreciate the stark beauty of silvery icicles, the patterns and textures of bird feathers, a beaver’s long guard hair, and the grace of a rabbit mid-bounce. It’s all about inspiring us to slow down, look closer, and celebrate the wonders of the natural world.



Water unifies the whole as it shows off its different guises: slushy snow on the grass and sidewalk, sheets of drifting ice, a curtain of mist, puddle droplets, lengthening icicles, picturesque clouds, widening ripples on a pond.

We even see how in early spring humans re-emerge, as a boy rides a tire-swing. Spring is when we come out to play! The poem ends with a cheery double page floral welcome to the season.



For curious minds, Buffy tops everything off with short notes about all the natural phenomena described in her poem. I especially liked reading about foxes being able to hear rodents underground — something I’ve been able to observe firsthand in our woods. Now I can’t wait to hear the chip chip chip of chipmunk chatter or see the black capped chickadees sipping their stuff (I’ll pass on the snakes and spiders, though).



One look at On a Snow-Melting Day will get kids away from their electronics and outdoors exploring (as it should be). A seasonal transition is one of nature’s best shows. It’s free for the taking, and all one has to do is pay attention.

Here’s mud in your eye!






On a hawk-squawking,
woods-walking day . . .

Snowmen droop.
Cardinals swoop.
Rabbits bounce.
Foxes pounce.
Flowers warm.
Insects swarm.



When Mr Cornelius and Blue Bear read that part of the book, they were beside themselves. Their hearts went out to the poor snowman in the picture.

They were nearly inconsolable until Le Lapin Rotund suggested making a special treat to honor any snowmen who may be melting at that very moment.

Melting Snowman Cookies! Yay!!



So, together they baked up a batch of their favorite sugar cookies, then decorated them with white icing, half a Reese’s peanut butter bell for the snowman’s hat, mini chocolate chips for his eyes, and a sliced orange Starburst for his nose.



Quite pleased with themselves, they shared their cookies with a few of their favorite springtime animals. They felt so much better afterwards. πŸ™‚




On a snowman-drooping,
cookie-crunching day . . .

Hearts ache.
Bears bake.
Tea brew.
Friends chew.
Snow goes.
Spring shows.


Congratulations on the new book, Buffy!



ON A SNOW-MELTING DAY: Seeking Signs of Spring
written by Buffy Silverman
published by Millbrook Press, February 2020
Nonfiction Poetry Picture Book for ages 4-9, 32 pp.
**Starred Review** from Kirkus

β™₯️ Check out Michelle Barnes’s Today’s Little Ditty for Buffy’s Spotlight On Interview!! Take the Ditty Challenge for a chance to win a free signed copy of the book. πŸ™‚

β™₯️ Special thanks to Doctor Paddington, who graciously lent us his yellow boots for this post. He would like to assure everyone that this book is exceptionally good for you, especially if you’re under the weather.


“Take three of these and call me in the morning.”





The publisher is generously donating a brand new copy of the book for one lucky Alphabet Soup reader. For a chance to win, simply leave a comment at this post telling us what your favorite sign of early spring is no later than midnight (EST) Wednesday, February 26, 2020. You may also enter by sending an email with SNOWMAN in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please. Good Luck!





Thanks for all your superlative comments on last week’s post. We are happy to announce that the lucky person who has won a copy of The Superlative A. Lincoln is:



πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘Β  πŸ‘πŸ‘

Please send along your snail mail address so we can get the book out to you lickety split.

BTW, there’s still time to enter the HIRO’S HATS giveaway from earlier this week — a rare chance to win a picture book signed by author/illustrator Elisa Kleven. πŸ™‚




The lovely and talented Cheriee Weichel is hosting the Roundup at Library Matters. She has a wonderful post spotlighting Vancouver poet Avis Harley. Be sure to also check out the full menu of poetic goodness being served up around the blogosphere this week. Have a nice weekend!


*Copyright Β© 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

74 thoughts on “[review + giveaway] On a Snow-Melting Day: Seeking Signs of Spring by Buffy Silverman

  1. What a gorgeous book which can even be used in a daycare or early childhood center, or of course, by a grandchild! My favorite part of an early spring are the appearance of flowers! 🌷🌸🌼🌻

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everything I know about poetry I learned from you, David! That might be a little bit of an overstatement, but attending the Rebecca/Eileen/David Highlights workshop was certainly a shot in the arm (pen?) for me.


  2. What a joyful book! It cheers me just to see this much!
    My favorite sign of early spring is the sounds of BIRDS, chitter-chattering away in the branches!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jama, this is a fabulous review for Buffy’s wonderful book. Those cookies, of course, must be mouth-watering, right? There are so many words and pictures that I love in the book, but that chickadee sipping – special! Don’t put me in the giveaway (I have the book, lucky me), but thanks for a smile this morning!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the chickadee photo may be my favorite. As David said, Buffy definitely has a winner here. Since we didn’t get much snow this year, no actual melting snowmen to mourn.


  4. OMG, melting snowman cookies, Jama? And a cookie-crunching verse to go with it! You are the cleverest. And that generous Paddington, going “bear”footed for the sake of blogpost art! He was born to be a puddle-splosher, lucky little guy. Clearly you and I agree 100% about how wonderful Buffy’s new book is. Makes me as happy as seeing the earliest pink and purple blossoms on trees. That’s my favorite sign of spring!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What a delightful post for a delightful book! My daughter made melting snowman cookies for Christmas–She used a marshmallow so at least some of the snow remained (and we have to leave off the Reeces because of peanut allergies), but I recognized those drooping snowmen cookies. I hope my favorite sign of early spring survived their being transplanted at the wrong time last year. I dug up crocus and daffodil bulbs from our old home. I should go check on them as warm as this winter’s been.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hope your daffs and crocuses come up okay. Yes, melting snowmen cookies are very popular around the holidays. I had to make these cookies back in December because the peanut butter bells are only available then. I’ve seen pics of the cookies with the marshmallows on them. Might try that version next time. πŸ™‚


  6. I’m finger-snapping, happy-tapping, mile-smiling at your delightful review, Jama! I’m so sorry for causing Mr. Cornelius and Blue Bear’s heart ache about poor snowman’s imminent (we can only hope!) demise. But hurray for Snowman Melting Cookies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear you’re finger-snapping, happy-tapping, and mile-smiling, Buffy — so joyous! Your book has us all cheerful with anticipation for spring. I suspect Mr Cornelius and Blue Bear were slightly exaggerating about their snowman grief (any excuse to make cookies).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a perfectly happy, hopeful, engaging book. I was smiling reading this, and the simplicity paired with the up-close photos is perfection. My favorite sign of spring are the buds everywhere. Little greens winking awake. Also, the days getting longer, here in the pacific northwest, our winter days are quite short. We’re waking early to the sun now, and that makes me happy.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you for sharing Buffy’s beautiful book. She is an amazing poet, and the photographs are gorgeous. I also want to thank you, Jama for always creating lovely posts that are true celebrations for all of us to share. My favorite sign of spring is watching mother robin build her nest outside my bedroom window. It fills my heart with hope and joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Linda. How lucky you are to be able to watch a robin’s nest right outside the window! I agree that Buffy is amazing. Love seeing her nature photos on FB.


  9. I love Love LOVE this book already without seeing it just by these glimpses of the wonderfully tight poetic lines and superlative up-close photography. Great job, Buffy, and thanks for this post, Jama, not to mention the cookies! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a gorgeous post Jama. I am sitting here gazing out my window looking at the the blossoms on the ornamental cherry swell. On my walks I see all kinds of bulbs poking there way up. Spring is coming soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a great post! I was here last night to read…but your posts must go up after I go to bed! I just love the idea for this book and the fabulous word play! And, I’ll pass on the snakes too…ew! But, I don’t mind a cookie, or two!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I got a sneak peek at an electronic version of Buffy’s book, and this review made me fall in love with it all over again. It’s fabulous from start to finish. I love your inspired poem with “cookie-crunching day,” and am so glad that Mr. Cornelius and Blue Bear found solace in those clever cookies. Making cookies always has restorative elements. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  13. My favorite first sign of spring – gosh, there are so many of them: the days getting longer, the first sign of crocus’s pushing through the earth, my first taste of King Cake for Mardi Gras, the slant of sunlight on my desk for the first time since early fall, and because I am Welsh, Saint David’s Day and daffodils, but mostly, when my Season Affective Disorder beings to lessen. I love spring!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jama, I just loved the way you presented a review of Buffy’s newest book. This book is one of my favorite books using word play and you are so right:=> “It’s all about inspiring us to slow down, look closer, and celebrate the wonders of the natural world.” I am still getting visitors to my review that I wrote as a 2nd stop on the blog tour.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Carol — Buffy’s book is a good reminder for us all to look up from our electronic devices so we don’t miss so many unobserved wonders. The After Dark Blog Tour is something else — so many great stops. πŸ™‚


  15. Hooray for Superlative A. Lincoln! Thanks for picking my name!!!

    Love Snow-Melting Day, the yellow boots Paddington lent you, and the cookies!! Creativity all around!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I couldn’t help smiling through every line and picture in this post -except, of course, for the sad part where the bears are feeling sorry for their snowman friend. (But those cookies were the perfect response – adorable.) SO PROUD of Buffy and excited for all the buzz this wonderful book is getting! She definitely does ROCK. (And so do you.) XO

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I thought I recognized those boots! Thanks for sharing these sneak peeks at Buffy’s new book, Jama. I’m excited to read it. We need more books that show the joy of wordplay. I’m curious — were the photographs done by just one person or pulled from several resources?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a wonderful welcome to Spring Buffy’s new book brings–Love your review Jama–Dr. Paddington’s yellow slickers, melting cookies, and all the pics–of nibbling bears and wonderful images from the book– quite delightful and bursting with anticipation, as Buffy’s book is too, thanks! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for all the kind words, Michelle! It was fun putting this post together — all the more pleasant when you have a fabulous book to work with. πŸ™‚


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