________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 8 . . . . December 14, 2001

cover No Two Snowflakes.

Sheree Fitch. Illustrated by Janet Wilson.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2001.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-55143-206-4.

Subject Heading:
Snow-Juvenile poetry.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Betsy Fraser.

*** /4

excerpt:

This snow speaks too
squeaks a rubbery language beneath our feet
snow's laughter
the sound of balloons scritching together

This lyrical book unfolds the answer to the question, "What is snow?" This question is asked of a young girl by her pen pal from Ghana who has never experienced snow in any of the multitude of forms a Canadian knows well. The author, then, in what she terms "lipslipperiness," explains all of the ways that the snow can act on the senses.

     Sheree Fitch uses flights of language and imagery to describe a Canadian winter. She finishes the book by finding an imaginative way for a person who has never seen snow to share in a common activity from across the globe. The idea for this book came from an exchange program to Belize where a small boy posed this very question to the author who found herself trying to explain snow to someone that had never experienced it. Fitch then uses the explanations about snow to illustrate the similarities between cultures: just as no two snowflakes are alike, nor are any two people, even when they enjoy the same sunshine. The strong sense of place evoked by this book is reminiscent of David Bouchard's If You're Not from the Prairie, except that this book makes the experience of snow universal.

     Janet Wilson's work has won the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver award as well as having been twice named an honour book for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award. She is familiar with and conveys particularly Canadian scenes with aplomb. The double-page spreads in this volume, as well as comparing the Christmas days in Ghana and Canada, use glowing pastel illustrations in which the snow shines, freezes and melts.

Highly Recommended.

Betsy Fraser is the Youth Services Librarian with Calgary Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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