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A Big Bed for Little Snow

by Grace Lin

Publishers Weekly This companion to A Big Mooncake for Little Star, for which Lin won a Caldecott Honor, stars a boy, Little Snow. As his mother fills his puffy, gray-blue bed with feathers at winter’s start, she reminds him that “this bed is for sleeping, not jumping.” Naturally, the minute she leaves (“Little Snow listened to Mommy’s footsteps fade away”) and anytime she is absent, the child leaps onto his cloudlike bunk. When he does, “Tiny feathers squeezed out of his bed and fluttered down.” After a season’s worth of jumping, Little Snow springs so high and lands so hard on the bed that it tears, spilling the feathers. The next spread shows where all those feathers end up; though it’s not too hard to guess where that might be, the revelation charms (and reveals a glimpse of Little Snow’s predecessor). Classically drafted paintings of the child leaping and bouncing with his stuffed dachshund convey the joy of release and weightlessness. Lin skillfully uses the folded and creased snowflake shapes of the mother and child’s matching pajamas to convey the contours of their bodies underneath, giving their clothes a wonderfully otherworldly look. A beguiling contemporary origin story. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)

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Book list At the start of winter, Little Snow's mother makes him a new bed. It's warm and filled with fluffy feathers, and Mommy knowingly reminds him that the bed is for sleeping, not jumping. Like all mischievous children, Little Snow cannot resist defying his mother, and as soon as he is alone, he does exactly what she said not to: jump, jump, jump! With each jump, a puff of feathers escapes from a split corner of the bouncy, cloud-like bed, but whenever he hears his mother coming, he pretends to be asleep. So it goes all winter, with Little Snow releasing more and more feathers until one day they're all gone and at just the right moment a secret is revealed. Lin's use of color, pattern, and white space stylistically similar to her Caldecott Honor Book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (2018) elegantly foreshadow the surprise. Lin might be onto something with her inventive visual approach, and her fans will appreciate this heartwarming tale of human nature.--Amina Chaudhri Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 1—When Little Snow's mother makes him a big, round bed filled with warm feathers, the boy cannot resist jumping on it despite his Mommy's warning, "Remember…this bed is for sleeping, not jumping." Though he nods in agreement, every time his mom leaves the room, the mischievous tyke pounces. Little by little, tiny feathers escape until one day, a particularly energetic bounce produces a large tear creating an avalanche. "What a lot of feathers fell that day!" A double-spread reveals a panorama of snow-capped buildings with family-filled windows marveling at the snow-filled sky. When his mother notices the deflated bed, she smiles indulgently as the clever child points out that he's saved her the trouble of emptying the old feathers; she need only replace them next year. Both mother and child wear white pajamas with soft blue snowflakes against a stark white background. The plump, round bed is also light blue with a matching blanket and a little brown stuffed toy dachshund that serves as both pillow and cuddly. The endpapers feature white birds in flight against a pale blue sky. This heartwarming story offers a fanciful explanation of snow while capturing the love and playfulness between a mother and son. VERDICT A simple, sweet choice for a winter toddler storytime, bound to be a bedtime favorite.—Barbara Auerbach, Cairo Public Library, NY

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus At the beginning of winter, Little Snow's mother fills his big, sky-blue bed with feathers and reminds him that it is "for sleeping, not jumping."Of course, Little Snow cannot resist, and whenever Mommy isn't around, he jumps and jumps. Each time, some feathers fall from his cloud-shaped bed. At one point, he jumps extra high and the bed tears, releasing a sky full of feathers that falls in a blizzard of snow upon a city's rooftops. In what is clearly a companion to Lin's Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (2018), this book's color palette consists of a solid white negative space instead of black, and light-blue snowflakes adorn Little Snow's white pajamas. As before, a mischievous little protagonist with Asian features is the cause of a natural phenomenon that readers will recognize with satisfaction. The story is clever but simple, without the extra layers of cultural and natural complexity that made Lin's previous book so exceptional. Lin's gouache illustrations are an echo of that book as well, with Little Snow's pajama edges similarly bleeding into the background. It's still visually intriguing, but this time around, everything feels more stark than luminous. The most delightful spread is the most colorful one, as the snow falls over city buildings full of diverse children peering out the windows, enchanted.A sweet and clever modern myth that may send readers back to its lauded companion. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.