written by Cynthia Rylant
published by Harcourt, 2008
Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical descriptions of the sights and feelings evoked by falling snow blend gorgeously with the rich and beautiful world created by Lauren Stringer’s illustrations, in which a young girl, her friend, and her grandmother enjoy the many things a snowy day has to offer.
Which one do you love best?
A Personal Note
When I first read the manuscript for Snow, I loved Cynthia’s poetic text and the possibilities it opened up for painting the experience of different kinds of snow.
In the text there is a particular line that resonated strongly with me: And the snow is here to remind us that nothing lasts forever except memories. This line became the decisive moment in the story where considerations for all of the illustrations were resolved. I knew I would be painting a book filled with memories, that would hopefully trigger memories and familiar feelings in the reader. A white china cat from my childhood, a favorite dog toy of my daughter’s, photos of my mother as a little girl, marbles I have collected over the years, a watch belonging to my father, a shell my mother had found and cherished; all are included as familiar objects to stir the memories and emotions of the reader. The main character in the story is snow, however I introduce a grandma and her grand-daughter on the title page to help carry the story of snow throughout the book.
From the beginning, I imagined this book painted with blues-- cool blues. I bought as many different tubes of blue paint as I could afford and began experimenting with different shades of blue and the emotions their color brought to the story. I studied snowflakes and made many studies of single flakes. Since snowflakes are unique, meaning you will never find twin snowflakes, I did my best to honor the wonder of snow by painting unique snowflakes throughout the book.
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