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Holiday Book Giveaway, Day 3: 'Snowflakes Fall' (review)

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'Snowflakes Fall'

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On this, the third day of our annual Holiday Book Giveaway Extravaganza, Hartford Books Examiner will be giving away a signed copy of Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg’s new children’s book, Snowflakes Fall. For your chance to win, simply email HBE at HartfordBooksExaminer@aol.com by no later than Sunday evening, December 22nd, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line. One recipient will be selected at random.

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Today, Hartford Books Examiner reviews Snowflakes Fall (Random House, $17.99) by Patricia MacLachlan and Steven Kellogg.

Published in October, Snowflakes Fall is a collaboration between Newbery Medal-winner MacLachlan (Sarah, Plain and Tall) and author/illustrator Kellogg, whose imagery accompanies the text. Kellogg lived in Newton, Connecticut for thirty-five years, raising his family there and maintaining an active presence in the community, which was devastated by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December.

A Snowflake. A Child. No two the same—all beautiful. This celebration of diversity is very much an underlying theme of the story, as is the idea renewal. Quite simply, the reader follows the path of snowflakes from their first fall and ground cover (which can be exquisite by day but frightening by night) to their eventual—and inevitable—melting point. They are then recycled as rain, which serves as the life source of the flowers that bloom in the spring. It’s a suitable metaphor for life, sensitively told.

Kellogg’s watercolors provide poignant accompaniment to these gentle words, which should help to foster discussions about loss, grief, and healing. Not only does he capture both the wonderment and fear of snowfall, but also the sense of tranquility that often exists before tragedy—and that can be recaptured in time. The story’s final illustration is a beautiful tribute to the lives lost on that November day: twenty-seven snow angels ascending the sky.

Snowflakes Fall should prove an invaluable resource in helping children to understand the life cycle. Further, it reminds us that darkness begets light – and that hope is never truly lost …

From the publisher: In honor of the community of Sandy Hook and Newtown, Connecticut, Random House Children’s Books has made a donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. This donation, as well as a book donation to the national literacy organization First book, in support of children everywhere, was made in conjunction with the publication of Snowflakes Fall.

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Don’t forget: For your chance to win a signed copy of Snowflakes Fall, simply email HBE at HartfordBooksExaminer@aol.com by no later than this evening, December 22nd, at 11:59 PM EST and include “Giveaway” in the subject line.

Be sure to check back Monday for HBE’s next holiday giveaway. In the meantime, you can “like” us on Facebook.

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