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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review: Snowmen at Night

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Illustrated by Mark Buehner

In this book, the little boy starts out by building a snowman. Then he goes to bed. When he wakes up, his snowman doesn't look the same as he did last night! He wonders what his snowman did during the night.

When it gets late, the snowmen must go out and meet with their friends for ice-cold cocoa at the park. Everyone lines up for snowmen races and ice skating. All the snowmen come together to make the biggest and best snow ball fight ever! They have so much fun playing that they all get exhausted. By early morning, all the snowmen sled down the big hill on their way back to their yards.

I enjoyed this book! This is a fun and creative story about what snowmen might do during the night! It's written with rhyming sentences that add to the fun and flow of the story.

The illustrations were created by Mark Buehner with oil paints over acrylics. They are all full bleed two page spreads with a lot of dark colors. The snowmen are bright and full of detail. All the snowmen characters have a lot of expression on their faces. In the back, there is a note that says, "Don't forget to look for hidden shapes that have been painted in all these wintertime scenes. See if you can find a cat, a rabbit, a Santa face, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex..." That seems like a great way to include details in a picture and really get children to pay attention to them while reading their book.

In the front matter of the book, the little boy is shown rolling his snowballs. The next page he puts the first two balls together. When the story starts, the little boy is putting the finishing touches on his snowman because he goes to bed.

When I was substituting in Fairfax County, I worked with a first grade teacher who used this book in a lesson. She read the book to the class and then the children created their own snowmen and wrote about what their snowmen did overnight. It was really creative the way she had them create their snowmen. They used marshmallows and mini marshmallows as paint brushes! That way they didn't use too much paint and they could just throw them away when they were done. I was really impressed with how they turned out! Then they did creative writing where they came up with a story about their snowmen. I think this would be a great lesson to do in a classroom. Maybe I can adapt it for my class one day!

Caralyn Buehner and Mark Buehner, of Buehner Books, have also written and illustrated many other books, including Snowmen at Christmas and Snowmen All Year.

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