Review of A Big Bed for Little Snow

 A Big Bed for Little Snow 

by Grace Lin; illus. by the author 

Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g 

10/19    978-0-316-47836-6    $17.99 

e-book ed.  978-0-316-47838-0    $9.99 

Lin takes readers to the sky once again in this follow-up to Caldecott Honor Book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (rev. 7/18). Whereas a black night sky dominated Mooncake’s palette and a girl among the stars was the mischief-maker, here our protagonist is an impish boy at home amidst the clouds. “When winter began, Little Snow’s mommy made a big new bed just for him.” The bed, in cornflower blue (the illustrations’ main accent color, with warm browns, blacks, and grays), looks a lot like a cloud; and though Mom tells him it’s for sleeping, he gives in to temptation after she departs and jumps gleefully on the “puffy and big and bouncy” thing. As he leaps, feathers flutter down, and eventually he rips the bed. We turn the page to see an apartment complex rooftop covered in snow: “What a lot of feathers fell that day!” Lin’s illustrations are spare but expressive, with copious white space used thoughtfully and deliberately. The boy’s pajamas are outlined by the negative space around the snowflakes that adorn them and not by any paint strokes, for example, giving the child—and the cloud-bed—all the focus. The repeated use of “thump, thump, thump” for the mother’s inevitable return (“Uh-oh!”) brings an exhilarating air of discovery to this already exuberant story, to which boisterous listeners and readers will surely relate. What child doesn’t want to jump on the bed? Playful type placement and varying font size accentuate the joy of the jumping. A wondrous, wintry read.

From the September/October 2019 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson
Julie Danielson writes about picture books at the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. She also writes for Kirkus Reviews and BookPage and is a lecturer for the School of Information Sciences graduate program at the University of Tennessee. Her book Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature, written with Betsy Bird and Peter D. Sieruta, was published in 2014.

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