Overview Some children create a family out of snow. Includes labeled pictures of all the items they use, as well as information about how snow is formed.
Publishers Description When it's snowing, there's only one thing to do: Pull on some mittens and head outside. Lois Ehlert's seasonal classic--available for the first time as a board book--will inspire even the youngest snowman-builders. And it's just in time for winter
Citations And Professional Reviews Snowballs by Lois Ehlert has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 1297
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Studio: HMH Books
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.1" Width: 5.6" Height: 0.7" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Binding Board Books
Release Date Sep 1, 2001
Publisher Red Wagon Books
ISBN 0152162755 ISBN13 9780152162757 UPC 047132006951
Availability 0 units.
More About Lois Ehlert
LOIS EHLERT has created many celebrated picture books inspired by the world around her. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Lois Ehlert currently resides in Milwaukee, in the state of Wisconsin. Lois Ehlert was born in 1954.
Reviews - What do customers think about Snowballs?
Family Fun in the Snow Dec 31, 2007
Children's books seem like they are a dime a dozen. I paid no attention to children's books in the past, but with my two little girls, I notice them more than before, and one thing I have quickly discovered is that, in many instances, there is very little to distinguish one from the other. This is why I am ever so grateful when I discover a book that has something unique to offer. And Snowballs is certainly one such book; offering illustrations and dialogue that sets it apart from other children's books.
Many things about this book make it worthwhile and one of the things I like is the creative dialogue. There aren't a large number of words, no. But I like the way the author starts out talking about birds and how they are often very scarce when snow starts to fall. This may not seem like a big deal, but it shows that this author wanted to make the book a little more creative than the usual children's book.
The words in this book are kept to a minimum, like they are in most children's books, but they are still effective and they state just enough to hold the attention of most youngsters. However, the best aspect of this book isn't the words- it's the drawings. What makes the illustrations so different from other children's books isn't necessarily the colorfulness of the illustrations, although the colors are memorable. What makes the pictures stand out in a crowd is the fact that they combine real pictures with drawings. For example, in the opening pages when the book is talking about birds, it is depicting pieces of popcorn, peanuts, bird seed, etc., in actual photos- not just drawings. These are superimposed on top of drawings of the snow family. Even the snow family shows actual items, like scarves, bows, leaves, twigs, and other things, giving the pictures a very realistic appearance.
Overall, Snowballs is a very good children's book about snowfall and family. We won't be seeing any of the white, fluffy flakes falling from the sky in my neck of the woods (Gulf Coast). But we will be enjoying books like Snowballs- books that enthrall children with their well- illustrated pages and their emphasis on family.
Snowballs Dec 15, 2007
Friday I shared this book in my 1st grade classroom by Lois Ehlert called Snowballs. It is filled with collage snow people moms and dads and babies and cats and dogs all made with found objects.
Inquiry and observation are cornerstones in the process of making art with children.And in working with students as they develop the skills in the learning process these skills are the all of it.
Many miss that art may be good for children in a world of domains (too often just stated as a "feel good" experience), but in teaching them how to look at something in a new way, how to look to "see," how to develop an eye and observe characteristics and deduce meaning, these are foundational art principles. And interestingly the foundations of other aspects of learning. You move from "this to this" as a practical "way" of speaking in the process of the birth of an idea into an "art" construct. Well, as it happens first graders need quite a bit built in their mental tool kit so they too can apply skills and ideas ( observations) from one context into use or conclusions or suggestions in another. My class, especially so as they presently view learning too much as a "get told and execute this as shown" process, have almost a nil application of a skill set into a new or varied experience. Or so it has seemed. So I'm using art to build capacities. And build a platform upon which we can "talk" to this together. And that "language" of art is why it needs to be understood more articulately and broadly for the power it brings to teaching, learning and the classroom.
It should be then no surprise to someone that works with children that the genius of Lois Elhert is to use collage and re-use, re-framing, reorganization as tools to speak through art pieces constructed in the medium about seasons( here snowmen), about how if I say a piece of corn is a mouth it's now a mouth. It really is Duchamp 101. And since he invented and used this medium to do exactly this, we need to pay a bit of attention to the mind of this children's book artist as she creates a platform upon which on many levels to teach observation, inquiry, science, art to children. And to watch her send them right into "doing something" and seeing what happens and "looking". Genius really, to be redundant.
It should come as no surprise also that her book, Snowballs, is directly instructing children in "found art" art (foundation 101). And talking of building a representation of a snowman, which is in an of itself a representation of man acting on the natural world creating an image of himself. That's a foundational piece too. Of story, literature, myth and belief. We as man, act on our world to tell of self. It is the "story." It could be argued that what she is really doing is teaching you, the child, what the purposes of art can be. First literal, making a snowperson, then to teach form and structure, to talk of materials, to train a child in taking a thing from one context into another, for teaching a child that here and now I APPLY MEANINGS. And they cause me to look in a new way and in a way searching for metaphorical construction. Very good. Very good, indeed.
And this is no small stuff, it is the transference of aesthetics to a young mind. It is an appreciation for the steps gained in the 20th century in art. What this book does so simply and so well is guide a child through the observational process into the process of deconstruction and into vision.
No small winter day.
Ehlert in her children's works visits many wondrous things with vivid color and bold work. We see in other works life cycles of butterflies(change), gardens, seasons, and in each of her works brings so much integrity and sheer art power that it becomes a piece that one can build a teaching unit around the depth. It suggests follow up work, a "let's go do that," her work gets you out planting bulbs, buying a butterfly chrysalis, making art, collecting, she is motivating both teacher, parent, child to actions. Actions that have you up collecting nuts, berries, pieces of rice to connect and create, here in the form of snowmen. And we find a way through this to introduce the science, observation, the material knowledge, the kinesthetic so necessary for meaning making. All of a sudden off the pages and into mind and actions. Actions binding us to the beauty of observing birds and their habitats, asking questions, inquiry into what we see. In my work as a first grade teacher after reading we wrote what we needed to "know" about snowmen and as it happens a great many of those questions are still the work of scientists right now. Not the funny ones like "Can they really come to life?" But my favorite is "Are all snowflakes the same?" "What temperature causes them to melt?" "Why can a sunny day be so cold?" Things that make us think and need us to go do some "research."
So again her book Snowballs starts with a question, that should be no surprise. It is a question framed very much like Holden Caufield asking where ducks go in winter, it asks how they find their food...under a blanket of snow which in turns suggests protection, empathy, what we might do to help them. A very subtle push towards our role as stewards of the earth....or perhaps just a reminder of how nature is rather without that. Many die.
An art teacher of mine once said, "There is no meaning unless you started with a question." And continued to talk of the internal questions that spring forward all through the making, trying, reassessing, reasking. And becoming comfortable with "process". (And at that time having no real question I looked up thinking, uh oh and put my picture slowly away...) And from this process the children travel in the book into the collages of snow people and pets all constructed from various found objects. By recess my class had plastic bags in hand (recycled) and were out looking for things to use in making their snow people.
Each clever piece in the book they spent so long observing too to "see" every thing used. "Oh, teacher his eyes are screws." But actually they were nuts so we also were developing vocabulary for the things, looking, seeing how she found the shape of unrelated objects to suggest snowpeople parts. And that's one level the book worked so well.
On another level my 1st grade class of Sheltered Immersion students in South Oxnard at Hathaway who have never seen snow were trying to understand snow and it's properties. And boy how play does allow us to explore. You take it for granted. I'm so aware with kids that are not living where they experience snow, and rain very infrequently They were developing their language, making artist awarenesses, coaxing me into a project (I'm already planning-motivation -from them) getting us warmed up ( or frozen) and ready to try their own versions, adapting it to our needs. Suddenly the rest of the day isn't just as "always" it's a day to see things around our space and collect to use again. The trash never looked so good.
Because the book is so beautifully constructed with colors chosen in palates, there is work on those sensibilities and design sensibilities that are not here explicitly spoken, there woven into an aesthetic experiential base. And I can point this out...."look at how this was chosen".......lovely. The photos are terrific. My class will be constructing snow people next week and I'll augment their found things with buttons, sequins and "junk" as we create snow people in our own images just as we know the creation from this place has occurred from the beginning of recorded time.
A lovely book for a wintry day.
Wonderful Images May 24, 2007
I use this book every year in my preschool art classes. The images are just wonderful. The kids always love to figure out what the "snowthings" are made out of. It's a little bit of hide and seek before they get to working on wonderful art of their own. The story is simple and a quick read, but the pictures can be captivating.
3-year-olds love it! Mar 13, 2007
I'm a preschool teacher and this book has become a regular part of our classroom curriculum--we had to replace our old copy as it had become ragged with use. We use it during the winter months to begin conversations about the season, but we also love the way it elicits discussion about creativity, part and whole, different uses for everyday objects and even family. It's a beautiful book.
Snowballs Mar 9, 2007
My grandaugther who is two, just loved me reading this book to her. The pictures really kept her attention, they are so bright! Great book!!