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 . . .
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. 🙂
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 COOKIE-CRUNCHING DAY 🍪
On a hawk-squawking,
woods-walking day . . .
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. 🙂
On a snowman-drooping,
cookie-crunching day . . .
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
♥️ 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. 🙂
♥️ 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.
📕 SPECIAL BOOK GIVEAWAY! 📗
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!
🎈 SUPERLATIVE A. LINCOLN GIVEAWAY WINNER! 🎈
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:
🌻🌻 MARY LEE HAHN! 🌻🌻
🎉 🎉 CONGRATULATIONS, MARY LEE!! 🎉 🎉
👏 👏 👏 👏👏
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. 🙂
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 © 2020 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.