I love the way that Jane Hissey’s adorable characters try to help Jolly Tall, the giraffe, understand what snow is. Little Bear, Zebra and Rabbit do their best to help their friend with the support of the two more senior members of the playroom, Old Bear and Bramwell.
The Story: It is winter and Jolly Tall has never seen snow. The toys try to explain what snow is by showing him a snow globe, playing in flour and and making bubbles. Then they go and ask Old Bear to help them. He has been making things out of paper and his paper cuttings look like snow. The toys make a sledge and sledge through the paper cuttings before crashing into some cushions which burst and shower them with feathers. Rabbit decorates the playroom windows with feathers but then realises that there is real snow falling outside. They watch the snow while eating Bramwell’s snowflake biscuits (the best kind of snow in Jolly Tall’s opinion!).
Young children believe that their soft toys are real and have their own adventures and the Old Bear stories are a wonderful celebration of this belief. In Jolly Snow, Jane Hissey’s beautifully illustrated characters come up with some very original (and sometimes messy!) ways of explaining snow to their friend. Zebra, in particular, gets covered in flour which leads to her bath, the resulting bubbles and the toys trying to help her to get clean. The way that the toys care about each other is shown through their actions and the story beautifully portrays characteristics of friendship and kindness. The text is easy to read and the toys’ dialogue moves the action along and helps the reader to understand the thoughts that lead to their ideas for snow making. There is also humour in the story, my daughter laughs at the toys’ sledge and thinks it is hilarious when they play with dough balls instead of snowballs.
My daughter decided that she wanted to make lanterns and snowflakes like Old Bear which led to our own snow covered floor! We experimented with different scissors but I wasn’t allowed to use coloured paper as she insisted that they were white ‘just like in the story’! Once the winter comes she wants to bake snowflake biscuits ‘just like Bramwell’s’ (Jane Hissey posted the recipe here).
Jolly Snow is a beautifully illustrated story with loveable characters, it’s a perfect bedtime story for a cold, wintery evening.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Jane Hissey
Thank you to The Salariya Book Company for sending us a limited edition of Jolly Snow to offer as a giveaway to celebrate Story Snug’s first birthday. We enjoyed reading this story about Jolly Tall and his friends.