The Big Snow

I have heard that some parts of the country are experiencing more of that stuff called snow. I hear that in some places it is really BIG snow and really BIG cold.

Not here. It’s COLD. Really Cold! But no snow for us.

But in honor of BIG Snow in other places, I’m sharing a rather chilling book called


This is a rather old book published in 1948 by E.M. Hale and Company (by arrangement with The MacMillan Co.) There are newer versions of this book to be found. We found this really lovely, old copy at our library.

It was written and illustrated by husband and wife, Berta and Elmer Hader, and describes the big blizzard of December, 1946. (the book says 1946, research tells me that it was  Christmas of 1947.) The book was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1949.


The theme of the Big Snow would be Snow! and winter and wildlife survival in winter.
It’s suitable for age 5 and up.

It is an old book, but it is pertinent to current times. It’s basically a nature book. It begins – “Honk-honk-honk.” “The wild geese were flying south.” Mrs. Cottontail and the littlest rabbit watched them from the vegetable garden. She tells the little rabbit that he must eat plenty of cabbage leaves and carrot tops so that he will have a thick coat for winter.

We see all the other animals watching the geese fly by and learn how they will get through the winter. The ground hog and the skunks and raccoons will all take long naps in dark dens. All of the other birds – the cardinals and sparrows and jays and pheasants – believe that they will be able to find plenty of seeds and be just fine through the cold weather. The chipmunks and squirrels and mice have stored nuts and seeds away. The deer are comfortable in their woods. All of the animals thought that they were ready for winter.

IMG_4875Then it began to snow. And it snowed and snowed. The snow was deep and thick and covered everything. The animals discovered that it was not going to be so easy to find food in all that snow. But the jay saw an old man and an old lady putting out seed and nuts and bread crumbs and hay. The jay called out to all the other animals on the hill. Everyone passed the word along that there was food at the little stone house and they all made their way to the feast. In the end, the ground hog saw his shadow and hurried back to his den to wait out the rest of the long cold winter.

HERE is a link to Life Magazine photos of New York City in the snow – 1947.

If you do have snow where you are it would be fun to just go out and walk in the snow. Scatter some seeds and bread crumbs for the birds.

HERE are some instructions for making pine cone bird feeders.

Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes has directions for a fun “Winter Calming Jar” filled with sparkly floating glitter.

And of course there’s always snow ice cream!! I’ve never had any myself. I just eat my snow plain. When I can get it.

And of course on this bitter cold Friday, while you’re nice and warm at your computer, you might want to venture over to Susanna Hill’s blog to find more Perfect Picture Books and some great resources to go with them.

Stay warm!!
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53 thoughts on “The Big Snow

  1. Yes, we have snow but not as much as the folks further north. We got nine inches day before yesterday and last night it blew over the deck so we need to shovel it again. And YES, it is COLD, but not as cold as those folks further north though our thermometer was below zero this morning. I woke up shivering.

    I am going to check out some of those resource pages for fun. And if I ever get to the library again I’ll check it out there, too. It’s on my list. 🙂

    • Whoa! 9 inches! That would be just about to my belly! I’ve never ever seen snow like that! I think that I would love it! It was 19 here this morning. It does on occasion get some colder than that but not often. I really like the cold. Hope you find the book. I think you’ll like it.

  2. This DOES seem a good winter to read The Big Snow. Even though we don’t have any snow where we live either. My kindergarten kids would LOVE to see some snow this year. Thanks for including a link to our winter calming jar in your post. Happy tails, Rhythm.

    • I keep hearing stories about BIG snow everywhere else. I keep hoping some will come our way. The Mom Person keeps hoping that it will not. She’s ready for summer. I bet your kids have a grand time when you have snow!

  3. This is such a great choice for all of the snow we’ve had. Loved the 1947 NCY photo of the blizzard. No movement. Last night on the news, I heard New Yorkers complaining about the uncleared streets. Of course they didn’t have the all of the snow removal equipment and aids we have today. I like snow, but I’m ready for it to move on.

    • Finding this particular book this week was kind of serendipitous! It seems to me that people have become kind of spoiled to all the amenities and comforts that are available these days. I read about folks way back when and they didn’t seem to be too bothered by a lot of the hardships brought on by Mother Nature.

      • I know. 50 years ago, we had blizzards and bad weather. We loved to play outside and be involved in winter activities. I like the seasons. It was a quieter time of family and using your imagination. No distractions like today. We even grew vegetable gardens. Now we’re dependent on everything and others.

  4. Oh my goodness, Rhythm…this is a wonderful old book…just about as old as I am….hahahaha…the book and I were both born in 1947! I know I’ve read this story…I probably had a copy when I was a child…but I’m so glad you picked it for #PPBF. What a great review and super activity and resource list!

  5. Oh, Rhythm, I can’t wait to look for this book. It reminds me of winters at my Grandma’s house in Sault Ste. Marie. One year the snow banks were so high, if you stood on top you could touch the telephone wires. We even saw a snow owl because food was so scarce the wildlife were coming in by the barn. And, I am glad to see you are dressed for the cold. Right now it is -7, but the real-feel is -25 because of the wind here in Michigan. My choc. lab does not like it at all. But – my daughter’s dog, a black lab puppy, LOVES it. She plows through snow bank after snow bank and leaps and bounds and tries to get our dog to play, who is standing on the porch holding up one paw after another. Thanks for this book suggestion.

    • Boy! I can’t even imagine that much snow and temperatures that cold! I think that I would be like that pup and want to dance in the snow. My buddy Walker is like your dog and would rather be curled up on a nice warm blanket. I guess we’re all a little different!

  6. We’ve had snow again too, but not BIG snow! I like this time of year when we can find large flocks of geese in a field too. Right now though the sun is almost too intense, had to open my car window to cool off! That’s what living mile high will do!

  7. Thank God for the couple in the cottage! I was afraid it would have a sad ending. There’s this old old picture book based on a poem over here called – get this – Death of a Wombat – and it features the gruesome deaths of many of our native flora and fauna in a bushfire. Honestly, I’ve been scarred for life over weather books since reading that one, so I’m glad this had a reasonably hopeful ending. Whew!
    No snow here. Just the Big Stinking Hot.

  8. This looks like a beautiful book. I especially loved your links and resources today. It makes me feel better about the snow outside my window. Thanks.

  9. Oops, I tried to reply but think I messed up. So I’ll try again.

    Thanks for this beautiful recommendation. I look forward to finding it. And I especially loved your links and resources today!

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