12 Days of Xmas Book Reviews, Day 1: Snowball

By Emma Davis

13th December 2018
Snowball by Sue Hendra

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Author: Sue Hendra

Illustrator: Paul Linnet

Publisher: Macmilla

Snowball is a crazily funny, festive offering which will have children (and adults!) giggling from start to finish.  Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, the brains behind the incredible ‘Supertato’, bring us the story of a little, round snowball who ends up on an unexpected adventure.

High on a hill, little snowball looks down longingly at the town below –

“It looked exciting,

he wanted to play,

It was time for some fun

And today was the day.”

Wanting some playmates, little snowball sets off on his way down the hill but… a pesky twig trips him and soon he begins to roll, faster and faster.  We all know what’s going to happen – he gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  Unfortunately for the snowball, not only does he get bigger but he also picks up everything in his way as he bounces and spins down the hillside.  What begins with a cute pebble nose and stick arms quickly progresses to a mass of objects, all sucked into the giant snowball.  A big scary bear, an electric eel, an acrobat team, a dozen dogs and even the inhabitants of the zoo soon find themselves all part of the snowball.  It seems that nothing will stop him!  Down the hill he continues as the town comes into view, festively lit up for Christmas.  Suddenly, there’s an almighty crash… what’s happened now?!  Will there be a happy ending to this adventure?

Snowball is one of those books which is a complete pleasure to read aloud.  The rhyming text is easy to read and children will be completely engaged in the hilariously silly adventures of the snowball.  There will be gasps and giggles at his escapades down the hill, with children wondering what is going to happen next.  I love the ease of the rhymes, nothing is forced or contrived which adds to the wow factor of this book. The illustrations contribute to the silliness of the story and offer lots of things to spot and name to help develop vocabulary.

This is a fantastic read in the run up to Christmas and throughout Winter, and would make a great addition to a weather focus.  There’s lots to think about and wonder with the children – why does he roll fast down the hill?  Why does he get bigger?  What might have happened if he hadn’t tripped over the twig?  Snowball easily made it into my top twelve Christmassy books to share this festive season.  I hope you giggle as much as I did!

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