Friday, January 3, 2014
by Cynthia Cotten; illus. by Jason Cockroft
32 pages; ages 3-6
Square Fish (reprint paperback) 2013
Theme: seasons (winter);imagination
"On a cold, gray day, Old Man Winter walks out to his barn and opens the door." Inside are his white ponies, impatient to get outside for a romp. They flow out of the gate and into the woods. The ponies are playful, full of energy.
"In a flurry", they canter... they thunder through the woods and frolic, rear and race. Clouds of snow whirl around them. Their play grows wilder as they gallop and leap over fences. Eventually they tire and drift back to the barn.
What I like: This book is full of wonderful language and imagination - a perfect read for sitting in a big chair with a mug of steaming cocoa. While the wind blows the snow outside, the snow ponies flurry and drift across the pages. In the end they quiet down and peace falls across the snowy landscape.
Beyond the Book : I've never seen a Snow Pony, but I have heard their whinnies in the wind, and felt them rush by in a hurry. This is a great book for opening creative play or writing some poetry about the snow.
The ponies in this book romp and jostle and canter. Go on a word hunt to find words that express different ways snow ponies could move. Then try out some of those movements. If you've got snow outside, put your boots on and gallop and canter through the snow. Then look at your tracks. Are your footprints spaced farther apart when you gallop than when you walk?
If you can't go outside, then cut paper snowflakes and decorate them with glitter. Or make some popsicle stick snowflakes.
Make your own snow ponies! If you have some toilet paper rolls (or gift-wrap rolls) and yarn and string - and some nuts or bottle caps for hoofs, you can make a snow pony marionette. Directions at Red Ted's Art Blog (his is a unicorn). Or if you have a horse cookie cutter, bake up a herd of snow ponies and decorate them with frosting and sprinkles.
Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.