The Story: A little boy wakes up to see that it is snowing. Desperate to go out and play before the pristine whiteness is ruined, he exhorts his grandfather to hurry up, but his grandfather is taking an agonizingly long time to get ready. By the time his grandfather is finally ready to go out there are footprints all over the snow, but it turns out that the fun has not been spoiled – the footprints belong to all the zoo animals, who end up engaging the boy and his grandfather in a cricket match.
Why is this your favourite Christmas book?
Because it so brilliantly captures that delicious anticipation of playing in the snow, and how it can turn us all into children.
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.
There’s one spread in which the boy is looking out of the doorway at all the snow lying smooth and white before him. A large part of the page is pure white, showing the snow in all its dazzling expanse. Pure magic.
Author / Illustrator: Sam Usher
I live in central London with my husband, four children, demented cat, two guinea pigs and several uninvited mice (eeek!). When I’m not writing or translating (I also work as a freelance Thai to English translator), I can usually be found playing the piano or singing. Badly.
The Giant of Jum illustrated by Benji Davies
Woozy the Wizard: A Spell to Get Well and Woozy the Wizard: A Broom to Go Zoom illustrated by Al Murphy
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
Not a picture book at all, but I’m really enjoying Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘Boyhood Island’ at the moment, and would like to read ‘Dancing in the Dark’, the fourth book in his six-book autobiographical series.
In terms of children’s books, Holly Smale has got a new book out in her Geek Girl sequence, which, if it’s like all its predecessors, will make me howl with laughter.
And there are so many beautiful picture books that have been published recently that I still haven’t read, including ‘The Bear and the Piano’ by David Litchfield, and ‘Imelda and the Goblin King’ by Briony May Smith.
Story Snug’s 2015 Advent Calendar on Pinterest