3 out of 4 stars
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The Scary Snow Day by Kyle Derby Pratt is a children’s picture book about a young boy who is afraid to go sledding. Timmy wakes up and sees it’s snowing outside. He is happy to hear on the radio that school is cancelled due to the snow. While Timmy would love to go sledding, he is nervous as the hill near his home is so big. Will he be able to conquer his fears and enjoy sledding?
This short book is written completely in rhyme. However, it’s not immediately apparent that the lines rhyme. The sentences are formatted in a traditional paragraph style rather than each sentence being on a separate line. It would have been better to structure the lines on separate lines so that the rhyming style is clear.
The plot gets right to the point. After the initial thrill of having a day off from school, Timmy becomes apprehensive about sliding down such a big hill on his sled. The story is easy to understand, with a clear problem that arises. Children will be able to relate to being scared to do something that seems difficult. Reading about Timmy’s plight would let them know they are not alone, that other children get scared, too.
Timmy is the only character in the story. One page shows other children sledding, but Timmy doesn’t interact with any of them and he is alone throughout the book. As a result, the storyline is a little bland without any conversation with a parent or friend. The plot could have been enhanced with even one other character, as a parent could have comforted Timmy or offered encouragement. Still, there is a useful moral to the story that would be relatable to both children and adults.
With simple word choices and short sentences, the book is an ideal choice for children who are beginning to read independently. The bright, cheerful illustrations closely follow the actions described on each page. This is an important aspect since it’s helpful to provide visual clues for children who are learning to read. There are a few instances where thought bubbles are used to show what Timmy is thinking about. These bubbles add depth to the story as they help children to understand the character’s thought processes.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Despite the aforementioned issues, the story is an entertaining read with a universal moral. I would recommend the book to children ages 3-8. Parents or teachers can read the book aloud to younger kids, while older kids could enjoy reading it independently.
The Scary Snow Day
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