Sometimes you read a book and immediately want to tell everyone all about it. It’s that good. Fortunately I have a blog.
I just read the most marvelous book that we got from the library last week, A Snow Story by Melvin J. Leavitt, illustrated by Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen. After we came home from the library it was dumped into the book basket and forgotten until I excavated it at Ben’s nap time today. I’d pulled it off the shelf because the title seemed seasonally appropriate and the cover intrigued me. Then when I peeked inside and saw something about Granddad writing poems in the snow with his boots I suspected this might be a book for us. Oh and it was. I kept having to pause because my voice kept catching. I may have even had to wipe away a few tears.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem to be in print anymore, though Amazon did have a few copies. I’ve already ordered one for us because it was that lovely. The illustrations are soft and wonderful and compliment the text perfectly. But oh it was the story that grabbed me. It’s about a dreamy boy named Johnny growing up on a farm with practical parents. Sometimes in January or February on the day after a big storm he goes out to the frozen lake and walks back and forth. When his mother asks what he was doing, he explains that he was writing a poem, “In the snow. With my boots.” The pattern continues with his wife and then his children and then his grandchildren asking what he is doing. His answer is the same every time. And then…. well, poems written in snow don’t last… or do they? I love the way this book speaks to the heart of what a poem is: a marvelous thing that sparks more wonders. Sometimes long after the words have faded, when you least expect it, the magic reappears and your heart leaps up.
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