In children's books, incongruity often reigns, even on snow days as crocodiles don boots, mittens, snow goggles, and scarves. Four colorful, cartoonlike creatures grab their sleds and head for the hill. Mid-trip they realize that they must settle the school-closing issue and call the local radio station reporting in as Principal Sam, Principal Pam, Principal Will, and Principal Jill. "Snow day today," barks the news, a page later, "All schools are closed!" The faces are expressive, and the accessories, sleds, clothing, and neighborhoods are imbued with color, style, and pattern. The text is large, bold, and black. Although at first glance the book appears as if it could also be fairly easy reading, looks can be deceiving. There are well over 50 words introduced and, despite predictable picture clues and repetition, it will take a secure beginning reader to decipher Snow Day. As a read-aloud, it appears too fractured with a staccatolike rhythm. Unlike Lakin's Don't Forget (1994) and The Palace of Stars (1993, both Morrow), this is a somewhat lightweight yet lighthearted offering.
Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.