The Snow Family

By Daniel Kirk
Hyperion, 2000
Snow Family


Book Description
There is magic in the frosty air one morning, as a little boy discovers a mischievous band of snow children scurrying past his parent’s barn. But when he realizes that the snow children don’t have any snow parents to take care of them, he devises a way to make their snow family complete. Daniel Kirk’s lush illustrations and tender verses will have children building their own snow friends to play with.

Reviews of The Snow Family

Review from Booklist

Celebrating the joy of snow play and the rewards of family love, this magical tale is a read-aloud delight. Lush, vibrant detailed paintings endow characters and the wintry farm landscape with depth and richness. An inventive story, both gentle and loving.

Daniel Kirk speaks about The Snow Family
I used to make my own holiday greeting cards to send to friends and family members.
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One year I painted a picture of a band of snowmen. They wore top hats and tattered scarves, and they danced in a circle around a campfire. The painting was dark and mysterious and it made you wonder–why would snowmen dance around a fire? Wouldn’t they melt? A picture book editor of mine suggested that I should write a story to go with the picture!

So I did. In fact, I wrote about a dozen different versions of the story over a period of two or three years. I felt frustrated, and was just about ready to give up. Finally one afternoon, while on summer vacation in the woods by a lake, I decided to rewrite my story as a poem. I made it take place in the present tense, instead of past tense. I used language that was full of the sounds of animals and the whooshing of snowballs. I wrote the story for a slightly younger audience than I had originally planned. I sent it to my editors, and they loved it!

Things to think about and do, once you have read The Snow Family

1. Do you think it was a good idea or a bad idea for Jacob to follow the snow children into the woods?
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2. If snow people were real, what kinds of things would they need to survive and be happy? Are there things you might be able to help them with? What could a snow person do to help you?

Snow can be an excellent medium for making sculpture. If there is snow where you live, try making a snow child of your own, or even a snow family!

3. Draw a lot of snow balls on a page, stacked in piles of two or three. Then add faces on the snowballs, hats, scarves and other decorations. Try to give your snow characters as many expressions as you can think of, to make them have different personalities.

4. In The Snow Family, the naughty snow children wake a bear that is sleeping through the winter in his den. Lots of animals hibernate through the winter. Find out what kinds of animals hibernate, and how their bodies survive a long winter’s nap!

5. It is a popular theme in children’s winter literature to have snow people come to life. Look in your library to find other books where magic happens in the snow!


                              Copyright 2015 | Daniel Kirk