Review of So Much Snow

So Much Snow So Much Snow
by Hyunmin Park; illus. by the author
Preschool    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    40 pp.
11/22    9781728260044    $17.99

A striking die-cut paper-over-board cover, vertical orientation (with spine at the top of the book), and adventurous use of white space are only some of the characteristics that make this South Korean import so thrilling. The setting is established through a very brief text on the opening spread. “So much snow. It is starting to snow. I’ve never seen the snow fall like this. There’s so much. So much snow!” From here the book is wordless; Park manipulates viewers’ perspectives and expectations through the creative placement of two sweater-clad figures across snow-filled double-page spreads. The pair emerges from their snowed-under chalet and, through a combination of extensive digging and plowing, tunnel their way to the top of the deep snow. Comedy ensues in the form of an escalating snowball fight, along with what appear to be scenes of the duo struggling to push an invisible object across the blank white pages. Subsequent page-turns depict the pair taking a selfie in front of seemingly empty space and hauling a large triangular object up a tall ladder. A vertical gatefold reveals their humorous goal: to create a skyscraper-sized snowman. Park’s digital ­illustrations confidently feature only two colors, yellow and blue; however, the use of nondelineated white to represent both positive space (such as a white snowball partially covering a character) and negative space (snowy backgrounds) in the same scenes creates an exciting visual dissonance that necessitates careful examination and rewards rereading. This boldly graphic picture book is as sophisticated as it is fun…and very cool.

From the March/April 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Patrick Gall
Patrick Gall works as a librarian for children in preschool through eighth grade at the Catherine Cook School in Chicago.
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