Picture Book of the Week monthly recap: December 2018
(Lincoln Children’s Books)
Two classic Christmas traditions are brought together in this book: the text consists of the lyrics of the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ while the artwork tells the story of the nativity. This mix works surprisingly well, and is a great way to introduce either traditions, or both! The colour palette is dark, with huge black starry skies taking centre stage. What is particularly pleasing about this version of the nativity story is that Mary and Joseph and all its other familiar figures actually look as they should. There has been so much whitewashing historically that sadly books that represent them realistically still stand out. Stylish yet accessible, this is a lovely picturebook to share at this time of year; it also includes information on the origin of the carol as well as its lyrics.
Once Upon a Snowstorm
(Faber & Faber)
After a boy and his father get separated during a snowstorm as they go searching for food, the boy, left alone and cold, is rescued by a group of woodland creatures. At first weary of each other (conveyed by the most wonderful panelled spread), they soon make friends, until the boy grows homesick. There is something wonderfully cosy and magical about this stunning silent narrative. A mix of full-spread and panelled illustrations drive the story, and they are filled with little details for readers to spot, with plenty of humour too. Johnson’s style is atmospheric and perfect for a wintry tale; the feathery snowflakes are so perfect, it feels like they have just landed on the page. This is an ideal snuggly read for winter evenings, with a lovely subtle message about loving and respecting the wildlife around us .